Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) sent a letter on January 13, demanding that the Trump administration end its delay in federal disaster assistance Puerto Rico in the face of the island’s urgent humanitarian needs following hundreds of earthquakes and aftershocks, just two years after Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico.
“The hurricane devastated the island and today, tens of thousands of people are still living under tarp roofs,” the members of Congress wrote. “In recent days, the quakes have cost millions in damages, destroyed hundreds of homes, caused widespread electricity blackouts, and forced residents to resort to sleeping in roofless shelters due to the fear of being buried in their own homes by another earthquake.”
The letter calls on the president to immediately approve the major disaster declaration made by the Puerto Rican government on January 12, release funds approved by Congress for humanitarian relief, and direct FEMA to undertake a disaster response.
“Let us be clear: Postponing the disbursement of this vital assistance any longer in the face of the humanitarian needs of Puerto Rico is simply shameful,” the letter continues.”
According to an analysis by the Center for a New Economy, the areas hardest hit by Hurricane María are still struggling to recover, and the longer aid is delayed, the greater the likelihood of broad damage to the island’s economy.
To read a copy of the letter, click here.
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