Pay Attention to Puerto Rico

From Bloomberg News, see: Puerto Rico’s Recovery Needs Trump’s Leadership. When millions of Americans are suffering, the president should pay attention.

Puerto Rico’s electric grid is down. The destruction of cellphone towers has rendered smartphones dumb. Roads have been washed away, a crucial dam has burst, hospitals are crippled. Thousands of homes and buildings have been destroyed. Water and food are in short supply.

In short, Governor Ricardo Rossello is not exaggerating when he says that his island, home to 3.4 million U.S. citizens, faces a “humanitarian disaster.” Yet for the last several days, President Donald Trump has ignored this national crisis as he pursues petty spats with sports figures.

Here is another sharp-edged article, from the Guardian: Trump warned: send help or risk making Puerto Rico crisis ‘your Katrina’

In Puerto Rico, Huge Agricultural Losses

In a matter of hours, Hurricane Maria wiped out about 80 percent of the crop value in Puerto Rico making it one of the costliest storms to hit the island’s agriculture industry, said Carlos Flores Ortega, Puerto Rico’s secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

Across the island, Maria’s prolonged barrage took out entire plantations and destroyed dairy barns and industrial chicken coops. Plantain, banana and coffee crops were the hardest hit, Mr. Flores said. Landslides in the mountainous interior of the island took out many roads, a major part of the agriculture infrastructure there.

Many Obstacles to Recovery in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria Live Updates: In Puerto Rico, the Storm ‘Destroyed Us’

Puerto Rico faces numerous obstacles as it begins to emerge from the storm: the weight of an extended debt and bankruptcy crisis; a recovery process begun after Irma, which killed at least three people and left nearly 70 percent of households without power; the difficulty of getting to an island far from the mainland; and the strain on relief efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other groups already spread thin in the wake of several recent storms.