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Public Schools in Puerto Rico May Not Reopen for Weeks, as Only 5 Percent of Island Has Electricity

Twelve days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, officers stated solely 5% of the island has electrical energy and its colleges will not be near reopening.

Julia Kelleher, Puerto Rico’s secretary of schooling, advised CNN on Sunday that some public colleges won’t resume lessons till October 16 as a result of of storm injury, although selections will probably be made on a regional foundation.

There are 1,113 public colleges and a pupil inhabitants of 350,000 on the island however solely 400 colleges have been assessed for injury, she stated.

Children walk alongside hurricane-damaged furniture, in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 30, 2017. (Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)

Children stroll by hurricane-damaged furnishings, in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 30, 2017. (Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)

“I have come up with a target date of October 16th,” Kelleher stated. “We used to make system-wide decisions before, but this time we’re going to allow the different regions to make their own decision as to when they can reopen.”

Schools began lessons August 14 however college students have already missed two weeks as a result of of Hurricane Irma, which lashed the island solely days earlier than Maria hit.

The report on colleges got here at some point after President Trump took to Twitter to criticize the management of island officers, particularly the mayor of San Juan.

Trump, who plans to go to the island Tuesday, criticized San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and the “leadership ability” of some in Puerto Rico who “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

Cruz earlier had criticized the distribution of help to the island and stated federal authorities wanted to do extra. In addition to widespread energy outages, many individuals have restricted entry to gasoline, money and operating water.

FEMA stated Sunday it has expanded its supply of meals and water all through Puerto Rico, although officers pressured that many individuals nonetheless lack the necessities.

The federal emergency company has delivered meals and water to all 79 municipalities in Puerto Rico, Alejandro De La Campa, FEMA federal coordinating officer in Puerto Rico, advised reporters Sunday. He stated 1 million liters of water and 1 million meals had been delivered as of Saturday.

However, he stated some remoted areas of these municipalities might not have acquired the commodities, partly as a result of lack of communication methods has hampered distribution efforts.

Officials offered an replace Sunday morning on restoration efforts and the island’s infrastructure:

Water. 41% of the island has potable water.

Food and water supply. Eleven regional staging areas are open for meals and water distribution however officers hope that quantity will develop to 25 in coming days. About half the grocery shops are working.

Electricity. 5% of the island has energy. The Army Corps of Engineers has begun a mission to restore the ability grid, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello stated.

Gasoline. More than 710 of the island’s roughly 1,110 gasoline stations had been working as of Saturday morning, however traces had been lengthy and a few stations had been closing forward of the 9 p.m. curfew.

Fuel supply. Over the subsequent few days, near one million gallons of gasoline and half one million gallons of diesel gas will arrive, the governor stated. As of Sunday, 470,000 barrels of gasoline had been in Puerto Rico.

Communications. 36% of individuals now have telephone service in Puerto Rico, most in the northeast half of the island. All the island’s landlines are working however solely about 11% of the cell towers are operational.

Shelters: eight,800 individuals stay in 139 shelters. Rossello noticed this as an enchancment as a result of 500 shelters had been working 10 days in the past.

Air journey. 39 passenger flights had been anticipated on Sunday in Puerto Rico, which has a most effectivity of 60 flights.

Medical care. 51 of 69 hospitals are operating in some capability now, together with 46 of 48 dialysis facilities.

Islanders receiving advantages below Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance program who’ve been displaced by the hurricanes can apply for advantages below the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the USDA introduced Sunday. The coverage will stay in impact via October 31.

Hurricane Maria struck as a class four storm on September 20. At least 16 individuals on the US commonwealth died, the federal government has stated.

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