With little food, water or power, Puerto Rico residents say ‘no one has come’ to help


Posted on: October 4th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty Images(SAN JUAN, P.R.) — In a 13-story apartment building just 15 minutes from the airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Lizbeth Vasquez Delgado is caring for her parents and their neighbors the best way she knows how.

After Hurricane Maria came ashore as a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane in September, Vasquez, who lives in New York City, is tending to their needs. And nearly two weeks after the hurricane hit, the residents of the building are still without power and running water.

Even though President Donald Trump tweeted days ago that all buildings have been inspected, Vasquez told ABC News’ David Muir that she had not yet seen inspectors at her parents’ fourth-floor apartment or in the building.

“They have not come to see what’s happened to these apartments,” she said. “No one has come.”

Vasquez said no food or water had been brought to the building. Inside the tiny apartment, the windows have been blown out by the hurricane. Down the hall, outside the apartment, the destruction can be seen outside from a window. An entire doorway has been blown over by the strong winds.

And Vasquez’s parents, Elmer and Gloria, are in need of medication.

On the same day Muir was there, a doctor visited their apartment. The family said it was the first time since the storm that a doctor had come by. The doctor brought Motrin.

“I had a piece of bread, half of bread, and I shared it with like four apartments. I made sure everybody had a little piece of bread for them to eat,” Vasquez said.

Down the hallway from Vasquez’s parents lives 70-year-old Maria Diaz, with whom Vasquez shares her bread and water.

Diaz told Muir that she was drinking the tap water even though she knew it was not safe. She said that bottled water cost $6. Through tears, she said she didn’t want to die in the apartment with little food and little to drink.

The residents in the building were unaware of the Federal Emergency Management Agency help because they have no power and no access to news. As of today, the island is still grappling with the damage caused by Hurricane Maria and deeply plunged in recovery efforts.

Only 47 percent of the island’s water customers have access to potable water, according to the office of Puerto Rico’s governor, and just 7 percent of the island has power back.

A generator is turned on a couple of hours per day in Vasquez’s apartment building. For now, Vasquez continues to share what little she has.

“It’s not just my parents,” she said. “I’m sharing it with everyone. … There’s a lot of people here that don’t have family, don’t have no one to take them a bottle of water, or anything to drink.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.