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Two hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, struck the United States in quick succession and devastated large areas of Texas and Florida. The third one, Maria, has ruined #Puerto Rico and it is now faced with a major #Humanitarian Crisis as revealed by Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló.

#Hurricane Maria has knocked out power and there is a drastic shortage of water as well as fuel and the Governor feels that since Puerto Rico is a US territory, it should be treated on par with the hurricane-ravaged states of Texas and Florida.

The fallout of Maria

The New York Times reports that Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló indicated that the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico will increase unless relief measures are taken.

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He said that Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States and could be moved to the mainland to escape the post-Maria hardships on the island. In order to prevent a mass exodus, Congress must take necessary action.

President Donald Trump has blamed the natural disaster on the fragile economic situation of the island that can be attributed to factors like broken infrastructure and massive debt burden. Trump drew the comparison with Texas and Florida which also suffered hurricane damages and said they had coped well with the disasters.

Bringing relief to Puerto Rico

The Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA has funds earmarked for Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas, and Hurricane Irma, which hit Florida and damaged Puerto Rico and the United States' Virgin Islands. The authorities visited Puerto Rico to get first-hand information on ground realities and assess the extent of damages.

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They have said money is not a constraint. The problem is with logistics because there are obstacles to smooth delivery of necessities like water and food. The airfield at San Juan airport is damaged, some of the ports are operating partially and roads are littered with debris while the safety of bridges needs to be ensured. The bottom line is that large portions of Puerto Rico do not have water and there is no electricity anywhere, adding to the miseries.

The island has wastewater and water treatment plants but there is no electricity, so generators would be required to operate the systems. Obviously, a major humanitarian crisis is very much in the cards. The unnatural behavior of weather is gradually becoming more pronounced as also a matter of concern and islands in the Caribbean have to be prepared to face such vagaries of nature. The factors that are responsible for this phenomenon are not known but global warming and sea level rise could be two possible reasons.