Once Aid Gets to Puerto Rico, There's Another Big Problem

Supplies are piling up at ports because of logistical logjams
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2017 1:59 PM CDT
Cruise Line Cancels Trip to Bring Aid to Puerto Rico
Residents from Juana Matos buy groceries at Catano Mini Market.   (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

Bad news for those booked on Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas trip on Sept. 30: It's been canceled. The reason, however, is better news for residents of Puerto Rico. CNN reports that the ship will instead bring aid to San Juan, as well to the Virgin Islands, then turn around and bring evacuees to Fort Lauderdale. Other cruise lines have similarly pitched in to help places devastated by the recent hurricanes. A look at other developments as Puerto Rico copes with a severe lack of food, water, and power:

  • Trump's move: President Trump on Thursday waived the Jones Act, a move that will allow foreign ships to dock at Puerto Rican ports with aid. The Washington Post has an explainer about the act and why it exists in the first place.

  • Logjam: Bloomberg reports that "mountains" of relief aid in the form of emergency meals and other supplies are piling up on Puerto Rico's ports because of the logistical nightmare of getting it distributed. USA Today says "thousands" of shipping containers are in such limbo, thanks to "red tape, lack of drivers and a widespread telecommunications blackout."
  • Water: Puerto Rico has 3.4 million residents, and nearly half of them still lack potable water one week after Maria blew through, reports NBC News. The situation is turning into "hell," says one local doctor.
  • Fact-checking Trump: Politifact looks into some of the president's recent statements about Puerto Rico and finds some truth-stretching going on.
  • Attention, Florida: An analysis at the Washington Post floats a hypothetical that could have big political consequences. If thousands of Puerto Ricans move permanently to the state as a result of the hurricane, that could be enough to tilt the "swingiest of swing states" into solid Democratic territory. Generally speaking, Puerto Rico votes Democratic.
  • Airport: Flights out of the main airport in San Juan are few and far between because the hurricane largely wiped out radar and navigational systems, reports the New York Times. In fact, security checks must be done by hand because TSA equipment isn't working, reports CNN.
  • Renowned observatory: The Arecibo Observatory, which once held the title as the world's largest radio telescope, seems to have survived the hurricane largely intact, reports Sky and Telescope. But full assessments were still taking place.
  • Big names helping: Ricky Martin talks to Ellen DeGeneres about helping out in this clip. Rapper Pitbull, Mark Cuban, and Jennifer Lopez also were donating in big ways, and Vogue rounds them up.
(Read more Puerto Rico stories.)

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