It’s a system that has destroyed everything it has had in its path,” Puerto Rico’s emergency management director, Abner Gomez, said in a press conference. Residents reported trees downed, inundates homes and blocked roadways. The emergency room of a hospital in Bayamón was flooded, forcing the staff to move patients to a safer area. Many structures were destroyed in Cataño, west of San Juan.
Shelter in Puerto Rico
In many areas houses have not more roofs. Rescue teams action was significantly delayed due to dangerous conditions. The municipalities of Loíza, Canóvanas, Río Grande and Toa Baja have suffered serious damage. In the capital of San Juan, buildings shook and glass windows shattered from the force of the storm. There have been no reports of deaths in Puerto Rico. Some 3,200 federal government staffers, National Guardsmen and other emergency personnel overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were already in Puerto Rico, many of them dealing with the Irma response and recovery, when Maria approached. The federal recovery effort will attempt to restore power to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as quickly as possible. “God is with us; we are stronger than any hurricane. Together we will lift up,” Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, said on TV. The U.S. military is expected to assist Puerto Ricans after the storm hits.