Challenges face those sent to help in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The look forward to meals and provides is agonizing eight days after Hurricane Maria.

The Trump administration — beneath rising strain to hurry issues up — briefly waived the Jones Act on Thursday — permitting extra overseas ships to ship help.

And three-star Military Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, commander of america Military North, was chosen to direct the army’s response and can arrive later Thursday night.

CBS Information’ Omar Villafranca noticed first-hand the challenges dealing with these despatched in to assist.

A platoon of U.S. Marines is slicing a path within the El Yunque Nationwide Forest, making an attempt to get to a communication tower again up and operating.  


CBS Information

Greater than every week after Maria hit, Marines are nonetheless clearing roads; fallen timber and mudslides crippled the island’s street community and stalled the aid effort.

Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz described the state of affairs to Villafranca.

“You see us attending to important infrastructure similar to FAA towers,” Lt. Mainz stated. “As quickly as we will get these up the extra life-saving assist can are available.”

Some Marines have been among the many first on the bottom after Maria ravaged the island. They have been launched by air and by boat from the U.S. Navy’s USS Kearsarge.


Marines serving to in Hurricane Maria aftermath

CBS Information

Villafranca, who was aboard the stowage deck of the united statesKearsarge, studies that there are 20 helicopters round Puerto Rico. They’re not doing search and rescue missions and now are in full aid mode delivering very important provides: turbines, meals, water, even tarps — so individuals can get their lives again to regular.

As a result of many on the island do not have operating water, Marines are taking salt water from the harbor and filtering it into drinkable water.


Individuals rush to refill containers with recent water

CBS Information

Others are canvassing hospitals.

“We have now gasoline vans sitting on the market in what we name a ‘fast response drive’ with Marines who’re able to go, map out which hospitals they need to go to and we’ll get there earlier than the lights exit and other people die,” Lt. Mainz stated.

Gen. Buchanan will hyperlink up with FEMA and native officers to assist coordinate aid efforts. His prime precedence is getting provides out of the port and to the those that want it.

Many elements of Puerto Rico are reduce off, with communications down. CBS Information’ David Begnaud traveled to Aguadilla, which was one of many hardest-hit cities on the western tip of Puerto Rico.

On the best way there, Begnaud handed a army convoy — one of many first indicators that assist was lastly on the best way.

At the least 1,500 houses within the space not have roofs following Maria.

Puerto Ricans waited for gasoline for the eighth day in a row — the road stretched for miles.

Many crowded an area grocery retailer, however it solely has…

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