45 Puerto Rican deaths have been officially confirmed so far, and reports from the ground indicate the unofficial number of deaths due to the storm is higher. The island is still reeling from a lack of electricity, public health access and a rising death toll.
The powerful tropical cyclone made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 21, 2017, with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h), becoming the strongest to hit the territory since the 1928 San Felipe hurricane, as well as the most intense hurricane to hit the territory in recorded history.
The debate played out as the House passed, on a sweeping 353-69 vote, a $36.5 billion disaster aid package that includes assistance for Puerto Rico's financially-strapped government. "We have to announce this as one, with a loud and thunderous voice: They want us to die".
Luis Cruz and Esther Gomez had always considered moving to Florida from Puerto Rico.
The island's population declined to 3.4 million last year from 3.8 million in 2004. But Trump's tweets Thursday raised questions about whether the U.S. would remain there for the long haul.
Despite all the efforts, fallen trees still block numerous roads, preventing relief shipments from getting through, and many mountainous communities are virtually isolated, reached only by union teams in small vans dodging those and other obstacles.
Guzman leads a team of medical volunteers called "Puerto Rico Stands on its Feet".
The tweets conflicted with Trump's past statements on Puerto Rico.
White House chief of staff John Kelly, speaking to reporters, said the military and other emergency responders were trying very hard to "work themselves out of a job". He said there was no current plan to withdraw troops who are supporting FEMA's recovery efforts.
"It destroyed all of the infrastructure now, so it really hampered our ability to collect data", he said. Following Donald Trump's threat to abandon Puerto Rico in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, Congress should guarantee its full support to Americans suffering in the wake of natural disasters.
The waves from the Caribbean Sea crash on the shore right beneath the back window of Irma Torres' concrete-walled home in southeast Puerto Rico. The financial situation is more complicated than Trump's tweets suggest. It's too difficult for them to stand in long lines for the basic necessities. But it wasn't a permanent fix.
The legislative aid package totals $36.5 billion and sticks close to a White House request.
Mark Sawyer, who moved to Puerto Rico two years ago, leads the group and has spent the weeks since the storm collecting donations and supplies from people around the mainland United States. Katrina required about $110 billion in emergency appropriations.
Though their apartment in Humacao was intact, much of the infrastructure throughout the municipality was damaged, including the school their three children attended, where Gomez was also a teacher. An additional $577 million would pay for western firefighting efforts. More than 27,000 have arrived through Port Everglades and the Miami and Orlando airports alone since Oct. 3, according to the governor's office. "He has to see what's going on in Puerto Rico".
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