nsucurrent.com February 18, 2018

Students mobilize to aid hurricane victims in Puerto Rico

29 September 2017, 12:36 | Colleen Roy

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Image A combination of NOAA Satellite images taken at night shows Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria

In a tweet Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the waiver of the Jones Act is effective immediately.

Ricardo Rosselló petitioned the White House to waive the law, known as the Jones Act, to aid in shipping resources to Puerto Rico while it recovers from devastating hurricanes.

Why that matters to hurricane relief: The law means than foreign ships in nearby countries can't just zoom over to Puerto Rico with aid supplies.

The Jones Act, passed by Congress in 1920 and signed by President Woodrow Wilson, requires that all ships traveling between American ports must be US flagged ships - even if they are not the most readily available.

Valentin and her husband say they have not seen anyone from the Puerto Rican government, much less the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), since the storm tore up the island on September 20, killing at least 16 people and leaving almost all 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico without power and most without water.

Note: Puerto Rico is looking for licensed truck drivers to replace those who can't get to trucks to deliver supplies. With a scarcity of fuel, dwindling supplies and disruptions to their employees' lives, hospitals say they are in crisis, laboring to provide care at a time when it's needed most.

Trump told reporters Wednesday that his administration was looking at a new waiver, but he said, "We have a lot of shippers and a lot of people and a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don't want the Jones Act lifted".

Link for Donation to IsraAID Emergency Fund for Puerto Rico: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-maria-relief-in-puerto-r.

During the news briefing, which is a daily occurrence in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the prime minister reassured people on the island that a large number of supplies would be making their way across Dominica.

Cruzita Mojica is an employee of the Puerto Rico Treasury Department in San Juan.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warming Americans that Hurricane's Maria's devastation in Puerto Rico could cause a "critical" drug shortage.

He plans to visit the island on Tuesday.

Ramos said the federal administration's response to the hurricanes have exacerbated ongoing tension between the United States and Puerto Rico.

"If we don't get help, something is going to happen that will be a long-term problem for Puerto Rico". We'll update as more information becomes available.

Pruchniewski said volunteers are already using the tool to mark danger zones and help relief groups to prioritize assistance. "Aid hasn't come yet and some people have been stuck at the airport, trying to leave with no place to go, and they have not have food or water in days", he said.

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