Guajataca dam in Puerto Rico fails in aftermath of Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

"It was devastating to see all that kind of debris in all areas, in all towns of the island", Jenniffer González, the island's non-voting representative in Congress told CNN.

"We urgently need to dedicate attention and support to Puerto Rico and the Caribbean through donations and any help", she said in Spanish. During his visit, Cuomo said he witnessed "breathtaking" devastation.

"I think Giovanni is doing an awesome job, not just rescuing people but using social media to share information about the places he's visiting", said Charo Henriquez-Scaia, a journalist at the New York Times and Facebook friend of Brignoni. It will encourage residents statewide to donate goods and will raise funds from the business community for organizations in Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Department of Energy says initial damage assessments and power restoration efforts have begun on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. That program ended in 2006, after which many companies left and the island had lost almost half of its manufacturing jobs by 2014.

Puerto Rico's agriculture secretary, Carlos Flores Ortega, estimates Hurricane Maria wiped out 80% of the value of the island's crops in a matter of hours, worth $780 million, says the New York Times. "I don't have any more details", Gov. Ricardo Rossello said from the capital, San Juan. Its GDP shrank by more than one percent for seven of the last 10 years through 2016, the poverty rate is over 40 percent and unemployment stands at 10 percent. That prompted Luis A. Miranda, Jr., father of Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda, to call Lopez to help connect the mayors with the governor.

"It was insane, I was glued to the news", she said.

She said that she and Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez, who is of Dominican descent and was also born in NY, were using their connections in entertainment, sports and business to gather support for relief efforts. The following are just some of the harrowing scenes Puerto Ricans now face in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But it was not clear how quickly relief would reach people, and fully restoring power and communications was expected to take some time.

The entire island has been declared a federal disaster zone.

Manufacturing is still the heart of Puerto Rico's economy and any blow to industry could have a significant impact.

The island's infrastructure was in a sorry shape long before Maria struck. The couple has had trouble getting through hotlines and groups that are helping people get in touch with loved ones. This is what all of us with relatives in PR are waiting for, the moment we can hear our loved ones tell us they're ok! FEMA has had sufficient resources to deal with back-to-back-to-back hurricanes, he said, adding that "we've been able to address each one of them".

The call was brief but everyone was okay, Jimenez said.

MARTIN: So can you just give us a sense of the conditions there on the island?

Booher said there was no shift in strategy and that "we continually evaluate how we can get that messaging out".

"Not being able to contact family really has become the biggest issue for people in the US", Jimenez said. With roads blocked and phones dead, officials said, the situation may be worse than they know. "A key component to reopening the supply chain will be the availability of truck power to move the loads to their inland destinations and the ability of our customers to receive cargo", Hourihan said.

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