Sunday 21 October 2018

Puerto Rico in 'deep trouble' after Hurricane Maria, Governor appeals for more aid to avert humanitarian crisis

  • Puerto Rico 'in deep trouble' after being hit by Hurricane Maria
  • 'Much of the Island was destroyed' - Trump
  • Governor Ricardo Rossello asks for more government aid to avert humanitarian crisis
Gary Rosario poses for a photo at his house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Yauco, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Gary Rosario poses for a photo at his house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Yauco, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Jose Garcia Vicente holds a piece of plumbing he picked up, as he shows his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A lone chicken walks amongst the remaining dead poultry, in a poultry farm, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jose Garcia Vicente walks through rubble of his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A stuffed animal its seen in the ruins of the home of Jose Garcia Vicente, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jose Garcia Vicente holds a piece of plumbing he picked up, as he shows his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Lines of cars and people with gas cans form to get fuel from a gas station, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jose Garcia Vicente walks through rubble of his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Sandra Harasimowicz stands next to her dogs on the roof of a neighbor's house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Yauco, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Eric Beech

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday Puerto Rico is in "deep trouble" after being hit by Hurricane Maria and that its billions of dollars of debt to the Wall Street and banks "must be dealt with."

"Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble," Trump wrote in a series of posts on Twitter.

"It's (sic) old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with."

Trump did not offer a pathway for dealing with Puerto Rico's debt. The U.S. territory, struggling with $72 billion in debt, filed the biggest government bankruptcy in U.S. history earlier this year.

Maria, the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century, devastated the Caribbean island when it struck the U.S. territory with ferocious winds and torrential rains last week.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello on Monday asked for more government aid to avert a humanitarian crisis in the island, which is home to 3.4 million people.

A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
A doctor checks the eyes of Hilda Colon at a shelter set up at the Pedrin Zorrilla coliseum after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Jose Garcia Vicente holds a piece of plumbing he picked up, as he shows his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A lone chicken walks amongst the remaining dead poultry, in a poultry farm, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jose Garcia Vicente walks through rubble of his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A stuffed animal its seen in the ruins of the home of Jose Garcia Vicente, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jose Garcia Vicente holds a piece of plumbing he picked up, as he shows his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Lines of cars and people with gas cans form to get fuel from a gas station, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Jose Garcia Vicente walks through rubble of his destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Sandra Harasimowicz stands next to her dogs on the roof of a neighbor's house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Yauco, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
Gary Rosario poses for a photo at his house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Yauco, Puerto Rico, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Puerto Rico's government on Monday asked a judge for up to four extra weeks to meet key deadlines in its bankruptcy case after Hurricane Maria brought its fragile infrastructure to its knees.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters in Washington that the administration was engaged in a fact-finding process to figure out how much help Puerto Rico needs.

Reuters

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