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Update: Puerto Rico News

Here are some recent news reports on relief efforts and the status of medical services in Puerto Rico, following the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall on September 20, 2017.

Doctors In Puerto Rico Face Mounting Medical Crisis In Maria’s Wake
Huffington Post, September 29, 2017
“At a meeting of surgeons, OB-GYNs, radiologists and other medical professionals on Thursday, Oliver and others took stock. They expressed concern about lack of electricity, water, oxygen, sterilization equipment and air conditioning. The diesel shortage is becoming critical. In addition fueling hospital generators, doctors are worried they won’t be able to drive to work if the shortage continues.”

Puerto Rico's looming medical crisis is 'about to explode'
CNN, September 28, 2017
“Puerto Rico is a "complicated mess" right now, he says. He has driven around the island, and there are wires down, which will make it hard to light up the houses. He agrees, fuel distribution is still a problem. He sees plenty of good doctors and nurses on the island, so it's not a matter of human resources. ‘It's a matter of getting the medications and treatments to the people,’ Fuller says. It's also a matter of being able to move around and get services to people, which cannot happen without fuel.”

In Puerto Rico, Relying On Luck And Enough Gas To Get Medical Care
NPR, September 28, 2017
“A week after Maria, many hospitals are still shut down and the few that are open are operating with just emergency generator power. With a scarcity of fuel, dwindling supplies and disruptions to their employees' lives, hospitals say they are in crisis, laboring to provide care at a time when it's needed most.”

Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Prepping for Puerto Rico Rescue Mission
U.S. News & World Report, September 27, 2017
“Now that the orders have arrived, the goal is to stock the ship with personnel, food, water and medical supplies within 96 hours and get underway Friday. ‘There's a whole slew of equipment that has to be brought on board to accommodate the mission, primarily medical supplies,’ says the ship's spokesman, Bill Mesta, of the Military Sealift Command, the civilian maritime agency that runs the ship, while the Navy commands its hospital facility.”

"Nothing this bad, ever": Doctor describes medical challenges in Puerto Rico
CBS News, September 27, 2017
“At Centro Medico, the island's largest hospital, ambulances arrive, but not everyone gets to go inside. Because of spotty power and air conditioning, triage tents have been set up on a driveway.

Alabama medical personnel en route to Puerto Rico
AL.com, September 27, 2017
“A team of Gulf Coast medical personnel, including members from Mobile and Baldwin counties, is bound for Puerto Rico to assist with recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.”

Puerto Rico’s Hospitals Are Still Facing Dangerous Power Outages
Slate, September 27, 2017
“According to a Federal Emergency Management Agency update from Tuesday night, thousands of federal staff, including more than 500 FEMA personnel, are already operating response and recovery operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and federal agencies are promising thousands of more workers and ships of aid and supplies. But on an island where 3.4 million remain without power and running water, complaints have rolled in that accuse the federal response of being too slow or too negligent of areas other than the capital city.”

Puerto Rico’s Hospitals Are Still Facing Dangerous Power Outages
Slate, September 27, 2017
“According to a Federal Emergency Management Agency update from Tuesday night, thousands of federal staff, including more than 500 FEMA personnel, are already operating response and recovery operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and federal agencies are promising thousands of more workers and ships of aid and supplies. But on an island where 3.4 million remain without power and running water, complaints have rolled in that accuse the federal response of being too slow or too negligent of areas other than the capital city.”

Aid lags in hurricane-torn Puerto Rico
ABC News, September 27, 2017
“Many others are also waiting for help from anyone from the federal or Puerto Rican government. But the scope of the devastation is so broad, and the relief effort so concentrated in San Juan, that many people from outside the capital say they have received little to no help.”

US military sends ships, aircraft to Puerto Rico
CNN, September 26, 2017
“The US military is planning to deploy the USNS Comfort hospital ship to assist with FEMA's response efforts in Puerto Rico a week after Hurricane Maria smashed the island as a Category 4 storm, several defense officials told CNN.”

Puerto Rico Port Reopens but Relief Distribution Remains Slow
Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2017
“Cargo ships carrying supplies from the mainland U.S. began arriving at San Juan’s port on Saturday. But distribution of water, food and temporary shelter is building slowly, federal officials and private companies taking part in the relief efforts said, with thousands of shipping containers waiting for transport at the port.”

Food, water, power, gasoline desperately needed in Puerto Rico
CBS News, September 26, 2017
“Puerto Rico is pleading for help six days after Hurricane Maria hit the island with a vengeance. Food, water, gasoline and electricity are all needed desperately by the island's nearly 3.5 million residents.”

Battered Puerto Rico hospitals on life support after Hurricane Maria
Reuters, September 26, 2017
“Officials here expect the situation at Puerto Rico’s hospitals could worsen before it improves. At Centro Medico, the island’s largest public hospital, the disaster medical assistance team of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is setting up makeshift hospital units.”

Puerto Rico Struggles To Deliver Aid To Millions Of Stricken Americans
NPR, September 26, 2017
“Much-needed supplies are either in Puerto Rico or on the way, officials say, but the island's governor acknowledges that they can't deliver fuel and other material quickly enough. Frustrated residents face long lines for fuel, as millions of people have gone nearly a week without power.”

Northwest Louisiana hospitals take in Puerto Rico evacuees
Shreveport Times, September 25, 2017
“Medical evacuees began arriving in Shreveport Sunday after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, leaving residents without power, water and communications services. More patients from both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were set to arrive in Shreveport Monday night and be transported to area hospitals.”

New York Expands Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria
New York Times, September 24, 2017
“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a statewide partnership on Sunday to provide aid to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as he called on the federal government to step up efforts to help its Caribbean territories.”

How to Help Puerto Rico and Other Islands After Hurricane Maria
New York Times, September 24, 2017
“The region was still recovering from Hurricane Irma when it was pummeled last week by Hurricane Maria. Days after the storm passed, Puerto Rico is still without power and has spotty access to water. Other islands suffered similarly, raising fears of a potentially permanent exodus.”