Large sections of the territory remained without adequate food, water and fuel one week after the Category 4 storm hit. Communications were spotty and roads were clogged with debris. Officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month.
“Puerto Rico’s a very difficult situation. I mean, that place was just destroyed,” Trump said. “That’s not a question of gee, let’s dry up the water, or let’s do this or that. I mean, that place was flattened. That is a really tough situation. I feel so badly for those people.”
Puerto Rico currently facing ‘apocalyptic’ conditions.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN that officials saw “apocalyptic” conditions following the storm. And the damage won’t be easy to repair.
The hurricane’s landfall last week devastated much of the farming and agricultural areas on the island, according to The New York Times, so much that it left “a rich agricultural region looking like the result of a postapocalyptic drought. Rows and rows of fields were denuded. Plants simply blew away,” The Times reported.
Federal agencies have struggled to bring aid to Puerto Rico, mostly because the airports and harbors have sustained significant damage. Many roads also remain blocked, according to The Washington Post. Five airports in Puerto Rico and two in the U.S. Virgin Islands were opened to help with these efforts.
“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years,” Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez said. “I can’t deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere. The island’s greenery is gone.”
Photos of devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. The relief efforts have so far been of little or no help at all, specially outside San Juan.