A year after deadly Maria, Puerto Rico still struggles with aftermath
By Luis Valentin Ortiz
Even before the Category-4 storm hit, Puerto Rico was financially bankrupt with $120 billion in debt and pension liabilities it cannot pay. A year after Maria, the island is far from prepared for the next big storm, with an ever-fragile power grid, damaged infrastructure and the same crippling debt.
More than 200,000 people left the island after the storm, mostly to the U.S. mainland, according to government data.
There are still some 45,000 homes with so-called "blue roofs," or tarps installed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The San Juan mayor has noted that the island has seen only a fraction of almost $50 billion in recovery funds Congress approved for Puerto Rico, including $20 billion in HUD funds.
"Most of the people that have requested help from FEMA ... have not received enough assistance to be able to take care of their problems," Mayor Cruz said, adding that "a lot of people that don't have a title deed and they really are not eligible to receive any type of support or help."
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