Top Story: Puerto Rico is Still Hungry, Thirsty, and Living in the Dark

As of this writing, the American island of Puerto Rico sits at just over 10% of its electrical grid in use. Recent thunderstorms have taken their toll on the hurricane-ravaged infrastructure, bringing that number down again in the past days. Food and water continue to be distributed throughout the island although the need still outpaces the delivery ability of aid workers.

Official responders are present on the ground but their reach is proving to be inadequate as other groups are banding together to help where they can. Illustrating the continued struggle for basic services in Puerto Rico, NASA has released images that show the extent of power loss across the island.

Baseline from before Hurricane Maria:

Data from September 27-28:

Images composited and analyzed by NASA

To make matters worse, Puerto Rico’s government is running out of money. They were already struggling with paying debts and, after the hurricane, their cash flow has virtually ceased. In a combined bill, House Republicans are offering $36.5 billion in disaster relief to be shared among the various areas and organizations affected by hurricanes in the past few weeks. At issue here is the fact that the nearly $5 billion assigned to Puerto Rico from this fund is in the form of a loan. They will, of course, take the money because they have no choice. However, the choice to offer yet more debt instead of granting the money to our fellow Americans in crisis is reprehensible.

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