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Washington’s Responsibility To A Devastated Puerto Rico

A resident walks on a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017.  (Carlos Giusti/AP)
A resident walks on a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. (Carlos Giusti/AP)

A flattened Puerto Rico and how Washington is looking out—or not—for the U.S. territory.

Puerto Rico has taken a devastating hit in the path of Hurricane Maria. Homes and infrastructure flattened. Electrical grid, flattened. Now water and food and gas, all in short supply. People really in trouble. Puerto Ricans are Americans. Are they getting the kind of backup we’ve seen after hurricanes hit Houston and Florida? The kind of support? This hour, On Point: We are turning to Puerto Rico in its hour of need to ask what’s being delivered. — Tom Ashbrook.


David Begnaud, CBS News correspondent. (@DavidBegnaud)

Barry Bosworth, senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution.

Colin Wilhelm, economic policy reporter for Politico. (@colinwilhelm)

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico: Puerto Rico’s governor calls for greater federal response to Maria —”Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello called on the Pentagon to provide more search-and-rescue help and humanitarian resources to help the beleaguered island recover from “complete devastation” from Hurricane Maria.”

Washington Post: ‘If anyone can hear us…help.’ Puerto Rico’s mayors describe widespread devastation from Hurricane Maria — “The mayors greeted each other with hugs and tears, and they pleaded with their governor for some of the things their communities need most: drinking water, prescription drugs, gasoline, oxygen tanks and satellite phones. The entire population remains without electricity. Families everywhere are unable to buy food or medical treatment. Roads remain waterlogged, and looting has begun to take place at night.”

New York Times:Puerto Rico’s Agriculture and Farmers Decimated by Maria — “There will be no food in Puerto Rico,” Mr. Rivera predicted. “There is no more agriculture in Puerto Rico. And there won’t be any for a year or longer.”

How To Help Puerto Rico

At this time, many organizations are asking for cash as opposed to supplies so they can put resources where they’re needed most. Here are five groups running large campaigns where you can donate:

But, if you do have supplies that could be appropriate to donate, check this guide from Puerto Rico’s government.

That’s not all — the government is asking those with Internet access to spread awareness. Because there are still major power outages that could last for months, officials are asking people to contact the State Department to report US citizens in Puerto Rico who need emergency assistance. You can do so here.

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