“I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Edith Muñiz, 55, a lifelong resident of the town. (Luckily, the students were still off on winter break.) “Vázquez inherited many of the same Rosselló cabinet members and secretaries of key agencies, all of whom showed themselves to be completely incapable of managing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “People were screaming, crying, everyone ran because the buildings were moving so violently.
The quakes are the latest in a string of shocks for this island of 3.2 million people – a commonwealth of the United States whose residents are US citizens but cannot vote in US presidential elections and have no voting representation in the US Congress. This month, Puerto Rico’s justice department called for a special prosecutor to investigate those involved in the chat. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. In reality, we haven’t seen much help from the government, not federal or local. At least one person was killed and several others were injured. “From the policies to the individuals in charge of their implementation, the old political establishment still sacrifices the vast majority of our people to protect the privileges of a few.”. Puerto Rico was hit by 10 earthquakes in 2020. This was in defiance of a congressionally mandated September deadline to account for at least $8m of it. All rights reserved. The PNP dominates the island’s bicameral legislature, while the opposition Partido Popular Democrático (PPD) – which favours a continuation of commonwealth status – maintains a slim majority of the mayor’s office. His hand-picked successor, Pedro Pierluisi, lasted just five days before the island’s supreme court forced him out, citing questionable terms of succession. The largest and most damaging of this sequence was a magnitude 6.4 Mw, which occurred on January 7 at 04:24 AST (08:24 UTC), with a maximum felt intensity of VII (Very strong) on the Modified Mercalli intensity scale. Powered by Mai Theme, Discover Caguas Botanical Garden: A Fine Blend of History and Nature, Coranavirus Crisis: Puerto Rico On Lock Down. This is very hard.”, Available for everyone, funded by readers. A stream of aid from local non-governmental organizations and ordinary Puerto Ricans has flowed south since Tuesday’s initial tremor. And – as after Maria – local officials have given varying and contradictory information about the island’s power grid. Puerto Rico has seen damaging quakes before, but major earthquakes in the southwestern part of the island are unusual in recent history. As she and her family moved their belongings out of the Villa Del Caribe caserio (public housing project) in the southern city of Ponce, where frightening cracks crept up the buildings’ facades, Yetzabeth Vega López described the night the quake hit. Across the street lay the ruins of a school whose three floors had pancaked flat on one another.
A controversial fiscal oversight board has controlled the island’s finances since 2016, as the bankrupt US commonwealth faces almost $18bn of general-obligation bonds and government-guaranteed debt. “We’re living here without water and without light.”.
The signs of life are a few: stray cats and dogs and a handful of families furtively piling their belongings into vehicles as they evacuate their homes. Reports indicate that the sea withdrew exposing never before seen reefs and ocean floor before the tsunami hit. Rosselló eventually resigned after a series of profane chats were leaked in which he and close advisers mocked ordinary Puerto Ricans. “After the worst earthquake we have ever experienced in modern history, we were told that in 12 to 24 hours we would have our electricity back, only to be told later that it will take more than a year to fix,” said Mayra Vélez Serrano, a political science professor at the Universidad de Puerto Rico. As after Maria, the response of the US government has appeared unfocused and disconnected.
Please enable cookies on your web browser in order to continue. “The root of the problem remains unchanged,” saids Manuel Natal Albelo, 33, a representative in the commonwealth’s House of Representatives who will be running for mayor of the capital San Juan this fall under the banner of the Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana (MVC), an insurgent political party formed shortly before this past summer’s protests. Governor Wanda Vázquez called a state of emergency on Tuesday after the island’s strongest earthquake in over 100 years.
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