A little over four months since Hurricane Maria ripped through the island of Puerto Rico, it was announced that FEMA will be halting shipments of water and food to the island.
According to CNN, the island’s government reportedly seemed blindsided by the announcement, as they were still in talks with the agency for a “timetable for assuming control of food and water distribution.”
New shipments of food and water will come to an end on Wednesday.
However, FEMA said it has more than 46 million liters of water, 2 million Meals Ready to Eat and 2 million snack packs on the ground for distribution if needed.
FEMA says the aid provided to Puerto Rico has been the longest sustained distribution of food, fuel, and water in the agencies history.
The agency said in a statement, “The commercial supply chain for food and water is re-established and private suppliers are sufficiently available that FEMA-provided commodities are no longer needed for emergency operation.”
Héctor M. Pesquera, the government’s public safety secretary and state coordinating officer, said it would take about two weeks for local authorities to take over distribution.
Pesquera said, The Government … is waiting for critical data provided by FEMA in order to determine when the responsibilities should be transferred from FEMA to the Government of Puerto Rico.”
He also mentioned that the conditions “in most areas have improved and many economic indicators are showing that recovery is underway.” However, there are still in need of help.
Nonetheless, FEMA has pledged to offer continued support. William Booher, the spokesperson for FEMA said they will “continue to support any documented needs and will provide supplies to volunteer agencies and other private nonprofit organizations … working with households in rural, outlying areas to address ongoing disaster-related needs as power and water is gradually restored.”
Roommates, what are your thoughts?