MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mayor of San Juan is calling out ‘mayday’ saying Puerto Rico is running out of food,water and fuel as they work to recover from Hurricane Maria.
“The thing that people out there need to understand is that when we call for help, we’re not calling for give me a little bit more food help. We’re calling for give a baby some water help,” said Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
This on the same day President Donald Trump touted the administration’s efforts to help the island.
“I think we’re doing a really good job,” said Trump during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The president said he will visit the island next Tuesday and will probably visit the Virgin Islands – also devastated by Hurricane Maria.
“Puerto Rico is very important to me,” said President Trump Tuesday morning – adding that the government is sending supplies on an “hourly basis.”
This comes as the Trump administration has come under fire over criticism that recovery efforts have fallen short for the millions left without the essentials.
Last night, President Trump tweeted writing in part: “Much of the island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities.”
Most of Puerto Rico remains without power after Hurricane Maria flooded streets, smashed poles and snarled power lines.
Roads around the island are washed out, bridges and communication lines are down, and supplies are dwindling.
Now a top executive of Puerto Rico’s telecommunication alliance warned the entire communication network could go dark unless there is fuel to supply generators.
Supplies are coming in slowly from the U.S. mainland to help millions still struggling across the island.
“We’ve got a lot work to do…It’s the worst hurricane Puerto Rico has seen,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long.
Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Antonio Rosselló Nevares traveled with the National Guard to deliver aid to the town of San Sebastian.
“Two category 5 hurricanes passing through an island is unprecedented and therefore the response needs to be unprecedented,” said Rosselló.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the federal government’s response will not be conventional.
“It’s too big of a storm and the logistical challenges of getting things into restore power will require kind of a different approach,” said Rubio.
FEMA officials say more staff is on the way to Puerto Rico, adding to the nearly 300 FEMA agents and more than 2,300 National Guards personnel currently on the ground.
FEMA says the Department of Defense has evacuated more than 150 patients to the continental U.S.
About $1 billion dollars has been earmarked for recovery.
U.S. sailors and Marines delivered water and food to the San Juan Airport on Monday.
But access to the island has proven to be a major obstacle as only a handful of flights are able to get in and out of Puerto Rico’s main airport.
Desperate travelers crowded ticket counters hoping to get on one of the few flights leaving for the U.S. Babies were seen sweating and being fanned by their parents.
As for the long-term effects, Rosselló is worried what will happen if the U.S. does not pass a financial aid package.
“Humanitarian crisis will come to the United States in the form of the 3.5 million US citizens that live here. And what you’re bound to see is a massive exodus of Puerto Ricans into the mainland. It’s going to be a problem for us. It’s going to be a problem for mainland as well,” said Rosselló.