Puerto Rico marks 1 year since Maria with song and sadness
Puerto Rico marks 1 year since Maria with song and sadness
SUSAN WALSH AP
US President Donald Trump has tweeted extensively about Florence and the Federal Government's preparedness this week
22 September, 2018, 15:35
The governor of Puerto Rico said Thursday there is no doubt that there were almost 3,000 deaths as a result of Hurricane Maria, disputing President Donald Trump's assertion that the figure was artificially inflated.
Tarps still covered many homes that have yet to be rebuilt in the town of 37,000, even as the nostalgic strains of "Amanecer Borincano" - "Puerto Rican Dawn" - resonated at the spot where Maria first unleashed its fury.
Once there, they repaired and replaced roofs, windows and doors, in addition to sanitizing and removing mold from homes.
Trump made his comments less than three weeks after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló accepted the findings of a George Washington University study that attributed 2,975 deaths to Maria.
Jose Ortiz, director of Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority, told reporters that 20 percent of repairs made to the power grid need to be redone.
Nivia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old retiree whose uncle died a week after Maria, is among those disgruntled by Trump's comments, as well as by videos of rescue crews responding to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.
He said, "This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico". "Puerto Rico should be better than this".
Puerto Ricans also have become increasingly angry and frustrated as President Donald Trump recently touted what he said was a "fantastic" response to Hurricane Maria, calling it an "unsung success" as he denied the official death toll without presenting any evidence.
The original death toll of Puertoriqueños was 64 victims according to the us government.
"We're Americans, we deserve better", Mercado said.
The storm knocked out power and communications to virtually all of Puerto Rico's 3.2 million residents, while destroying the homes of thousands.
"To see the island of enchantment was a deep and painful experience", he said. A Florida International University survey estimates 75 percent of Puerto Ricans living in Florida have a favorable view of Scott, who was in San Juan on Thursday, and 62 percent have a favorable view of Nelson, who has been critical of Federal Emergency Management Agency's response.
"We stand for justice and we believe that justice has not been served for the 3,000 people that perished as well as those who are still suffering in the island and those who are here who hasn't received sufficient support", said Mantilla.
The group will visit the Joint Recovery Office in Guaynabo, where they will meet and thank federal personnel supporting Puerto Rico's recovery. "One thing is for sure, our lives matter and we do not need a tweet from Trump to remind of us that".
The local government decreed a day of mourning to remember hurricane victims on Thursday.
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