Puerto Rico gov: ‘Making every effort’ to prevent humanitarian disaster

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) on Wednesday said that his government is working to prevent a humanitarian disaster on the island, as the territory’s 3.4 million residents struggle with power outages and water shortages in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath.

In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Rosselló said that his island is still on the brink of a crisis.

“It could go that way but we’re making every effort to prevent that,” Rosselló said. “It’s a disaster of unprecedented nature. You need to understand it’s been two category 4, 5, hurricanes passing through the island in a span of two weeks.”

Almost all of the island’s inhabitants are still without electricity, and drinking water is scarce. Rosselló asked the Trump administration and other Americans to “keep the help coming.”

{mosads}”We’re an island, and resources are harder to come by,” Rosselló said. “Our petition is, keep the help coming. We recognize that everything is being done, and we’re here to execute so people get food, water, and we start returning to normalcy.”

Rosselló added that he was “pleased” with the response from President Trump, who is set to visit the island next week. Trump on Tuesday amended his disaster declaration for Puerto Rico and the neighboring U.S. Virgin Islands, striking a provision of the original declaration that directed FEMA to aid the territories on a cost-sharing basis.

“Let me just say, we’re very pleased with the communication with the president, with the administration,” Rosselló said. “We’re working as one team.”

“This has been quite a challenge,” he added.

On Tuesday, Trump cited the Atlantic Ocean as a major barrier to getting supplies and relief to Puerto Rico, but vowed to nevertheless get an “A-plus” for the island’s hurricane recovery efforts.

“We’ve gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico,” Trump said Tuesday. “But the difference is this is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. It’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean. And we’re doing a really good job.”

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