SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Folks in a southern Puerto Rico metropolis found a warehouse full of water, cots and different unused emergency provides, then set off a social media uproar Saturday after they broke in to retrieve items as the realm struggles to recuperate from a powerful earthquake.
With anger spreading within the U.S. territory after video of the occasion in Ponce appeared on Fb, Gov. Wanda Vázquez shortly fired the director of the island’s emergency administration company.
The governor stated she had ordered an investigation after studying the emergency provides had been piled within the warehouse since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.
Vázquez stated inaction by the fired official, Carlos Acevedo, was unacceptable.
“There are literally thousands of individuals who have made sacrifices to assist these within the south, and it’s unforgivable that assets have been saved within the warehouse,” the governor stated.
Puerto Rico’s secretary of state, Elmer Román, advised reporters that Acevedo had not advised him concerning the contents of the warehouse.
Information of the warehouse unfold after on-line blogger Lorenzo Delgado relayed dwell video on Fb of individuals breaking into the constructing. The scene turned chaotic at instances as individuals pushed their means in and started distributing water, child meals and different items to these affected by the earthquake.
Delgado later advised reporters that he had acquired a tip concerning the warehouse, however gave no specifics on when.
The mayor of Ponce, María Meléndez, stated he had not recognized concerning the warehouse and its contents.
“That is outrageous,” she stated. “Everybody is aware of what us mayors went via after Hurricane Maria to try to get assist to our cities and the way we’ve labored these weeks to supply primary provides to individuals affected by earthquakes. These concerned owe us a proof.”
Inés Rivera, spokeswoman for town of Ponce, advised The Related Press that the warehouse is owned by Puerto Rico’s Firm of Commerce and Export. Officers with the corporate couldn’t be reached for remark.
The data upset many in Puerto Rico already offended over the federal government’s botched response to Hurricane Maria, with comparable incidents of provides going unused being uncovered months later.
Ponce is one in all a number of cities within the island’s southern area hit by the latest 6.Four magnitude earthquake that killed one individual and brought on greater than an estimated $200 million in injury. Greater than 7,00zero individuals stay in shelters because the quake.
The governor stated she has despatched the Senate her nomination of José Reyes, who oversees the Nationwide Guard in Puerto Rico, to be the brand new commissioner for the State Bureau for Emergency Administration and Catastrophe Administration.