PHOTOS: Puerto Rico endures under the weight of a humanitarian crisis – National

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PHOTOS: Puerto Rico endures under the weight of a humanitarian crisis - National

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Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico with winds blowing at up to 250 km/h.

This is what they left behind.

Coverage of Hurricane Maria’s path through Puerto Rico on Globalnews.ca:


The U.S. commonwealth has found itself grappling with a humanitarian crisis, a situation that has Gov. Ricardo Rossello governor calling for government aid, and hoping that a 35-metre dam doesn’t collapse and leave more destruction in its wake.

Many of the commonwealth’s 3.4 million residents are coping with hospitals that have been flooded and damaged. Accessing clean drinking water is a challenge all on its own.

READ MORE: After Hurricane Maria, humanitarian crisis grows in Puerto Rico

Electricity and basic communication are proving to be out of the reach of several people.

As much as 90 per cent of Puerto Rico’s power distribution system might have been damaged, and 91 per cent of its cell phone sites aren’t working, according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

And all of this has come as the territory was already facing an economic crisis that had Rossello set to make $1.5-billion in fiscal cuts.

He has called on the U.S. Congress to allow an aid package that could keep living conditions from deteriorating further, he told CNN.

“We need something tangible, a bill that actually answers to our need right now,” Rossello told the network.

“Otherwise, there will be… a massive exodus to the [mainland] United States.”

Here are photos that show living conditions in Puerto Rico as it faces a crisis:

Jose Garcia Vicente shows his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Local residents carrying their belongings walk on the street at an area hit by Hurricane Maria in Yauco, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

A man tries to repair a generator in the street after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 25, 2017.

Alvin Baez/Reuters

People line up with gas cans to get fuel from a gas station, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Residents line up gas cans as they wait for a gas truck to service an empty gas station, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

A woman uses a container with gasoline to fill the tank of her car after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 25, 2017.

Alvin Baez/Reuters

Carlos Cruz (L) wakes up after sleeping in a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Children fill up bottles with water at a water distribution point, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Children fill up bottles with water at a water distribution point, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Federal aid is racing to stem a growing humanitarian crisis in towns left without fresh water, fuel, electricity or phone service by the hurricane.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Jose Garcia Vicente, right, works with Jose Colon, as he starts to salvage his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Vendors with no customers sit in front of destroyed trees, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Stranded passengers who are sleeping inside the main international airport in San Juan, communicate on their phones, in San Juan Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.

Gerald Herbert/AP

People affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria wait in line at Barrio Obrero to receive supplies from the national Guard, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Carlos Giutsi/AP

National Guardsmen arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Carlos Giusti/AP

National Guardsmen arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Carlos Giusti/AP

~With files from Reuters

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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