It is very bad down there right now

Inside Climate News on the depth of the disaster in Puerto Rico:

“It is very bad down there right now,” said Sven Rodenbeck, chief science officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2017 hurricane response. “For the vast majority of the island, there is no power. They have had flooding, and the health care system—many of the clinics and hospitals are closed. A lot of the drinking water systems are not operational, along with the waste water systems.”

Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, gave a blunt assessment of the situation.

“People are dying,” Cruz told CBS news on Tuesday. “This is the reality that we live in, the crude aftermath of a storm, a hurricane that has left us practically paralyzed.”

The disaster facing the U.S. territory—and mirrored to an extent in the nearby Virgin Islands—is exacerbated by long standing environmental justice issues facing a poor, underrepresented minority population on an island where climate experts have long warned of the increasing risks of such a catastrophe.

Witness Trump, not even noticing the problem for days because he was too busy ranting about football players and flags.

A request by several members of Congress to waive shipping restrictions known as the Jones Act to help get fuel and supplies to Puerto Rico was denied by the administration on Tuesday with the argument that it wasn’t necessary, Reuters reported. The administration did waive the Jones Act after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit Texas and Florida to help move fuel.

So…it’s not necessary why? Because we care about Texas and Florida but we don’t care about Puerto Rico?

“These storms are big, islands are small; if they get a direct hit it can overcome the entire place,” said John Mutter, a professor of earth and environmental sciences and of international and public affairs at Columbia University. “If all the first responders are unable to respond because the whole place is trashed, it creates a whole new level of disaster.”

Poor communities are always hit the hardest in events like this, Mutter said.

In the case of Puerto Rico, where nearly half the population is below the poverty level, the territory has no vote in Congress, and Texas and Florida are vying with the territory for limited federal disaster resources, inequity in recovery could be exacerbated.

Also a xenophobic racist is running the country.

They can’t even make sure the water is clean enough.

Even when EPA officials are able to inspect the island’s superfund sites, they may not be able to test surrounding floodwaters for toxins, Judith Enck, former EPA administrator for Region 2, which includes Puerto Rico, said.

“Typically they would either use a local lab which won’t be functioning because there’s no electricity, or they would ship the results back to the region 2 lab in Edison New Jersey, but there is no real shipping options,” Enck said.  “They can do inspections, see if there are cracks in oil tanks or thing like that, but I don’t see how they will actually be able to do any sampling.”

Now back to football.


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