1 year after Hurricane Maria: Vigil held to honor lives lost

San Juan Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz- CNN

The White House said Thursday it has made "significant progress" in restoring normal life on the USA island territory of Puerto Rico, exactly a year after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. He said crews didn't have access to the best materials at the time or were forced to rely on temporary fixes, such as using trees as makeshift power polls after Maria destroyed up to 75 percent of transmission lines. "This hit us hard".

The new figure marked a sharp escalation from numbers released by the Puerto Rican government in December 2017, when it said 64 people died from the storm.

The White House dispatched administration officials, including Housing Secretary Ben Carson, to the island to meet with Puerto Rico officials to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts. Instead, the Commission released a report that bundled all 2017 Atlantic hurricanes (despite the fact that Hurricane Maria caused significantly more damage than the others) almost an entire year later.

"We've had some great anecdotal stories coming out of Puerto Rico", Dr. Pruitt said. The San Juan mayor has noted that the island has seen only a fraction of nearly $50 billion in recovery funds Congress approved, including the $20 billion in HUD funds.

"The path forward is challenging and will be measured not in months, but really in years", Carson said.

Officials said the priority is to help people still living under tarps, as well as those in low- and middle-income housing.

Pope obliges Bishop Franco Mulakkal’s request, temporarily relieves him of duties
Sanker said was "for verifying about 10 per cent of the details revealed by the bishop during the interrogation". The officer said that an immediate decision could be taken once the questioning is completed.

Calderon added that the hurricane had raised Puerto Rico's profile on the national stage, only because before the storm, "Senators and congressional members they just have no clue whatsoever ... that Puerto Rico even existed, let alone obviously that these were American citizens". He tweeted he was there to "stand in solidarity with the people who have suffered the brunt of Trump's lies, insults and negligence in the year since Hurricane Maria".

"They saved five dogs that were drowning", she said, adding that she feels Puerto Rico didn't get the same treatment. Hurricane Katrina is the closest rank to Hurricane Maria as far as devastation caused, and yet the FCC took considerably more action to aid victims in the aftermath of Katrina, like offering free devices and calling minutes to victims both displaced and still in the disaster zone. Since the storm, that has shot up to 98 percent, she said.

But others felt that Maria's tragic legacy still needs to be acknowledged, long after the anniversary has passed.

Artist Omar Banuchi, who organized the exhibit, said he was reluctant at first, in part because he didn't know how to approach the subject.

Antonio Torres, one of the organizers of the vigil, said fewer people would've died if the USA government had a better response. There also will be live music that will incorporate sounds of the hurricane hitting the island.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said this week that the government is suing insurance companies that it says have not responded quickly enough to damage claims from the storm.

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