In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the situation in Puerto Rico has become so dire that some people are eating dog food, according to one journalist’s account.
CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago, reporting from Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, said she spoke to the mayor of the coastal town and shared harrowing details from the interaction.
“He was holding back tears,” Santiago said on air Tuesday. “He’s seeing people day to day and he’s saying the desperation is getting out of hand.”
“I mean, he told me yesterday he had to deal with a gentleman who was about to commit suicide,” she said. “I spoke to a doctor that was right next to him who told me one of his patients was now eating dog food. Eating dog food — patients eating dog food in a clinic.”
Two weeks after Hurricane Maria pummelled Puerto Rico, more than 90% of residents still do not have power back, and less than half have access to potable drinking water, according to ABC News. Although relief supplies have reached the capital city of San Juan, distributing it throughout the island has proved difficult, in part because of a shortage of trucks and navigable roads.
“There is still so much more that is needed when you just talk to people here,” Santiago said.
On Tuesday, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said the hurricane’s death toll had risen to 34. President Donald Trump visited San Juan on Tuesday and praised his administration’s response to the crisis, but also sparked a fresh round of criticism for downplaying the extent of the devastation there.
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