Nuevo coordinador federal de desastres satisfecho con cómo FEMA ha manejado la recuperación en Puerto Rico

José Baquero Tirado, el nuevo coordinador federal de recuperación en desastres (FDRC, en inglés) para Puerto Rico y las Islas Vírgenes de Estados Unidos, no cree que haya que cambiar la receta que ha implementado la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencia (FEMA, en inglés) en el proceso de obligación y desembolso de fondos para la reconstrucción tras los huracanes Irma y María en 2017. Esto, a pesar de que, a tres años del evento, se ha desembolsado el 66.8% de los $20.8 mil millones que hasta agosto de este año habían sido aprobados por FEMA para la recuperación de Puerto Rico. La opinión de Baquero Tirado — nombrado como FDRC el pasado 31 de agosto — se da cuando en Puerto Rico todavía hay sectores con infraestructuras destruidas y no se han obligado los fondos necesarios para reconstruir villas pesqueras, edificios claves en la Universidad de Puerto Rico y escuelas. Además, puentes siguen dañados, semáforos continúan sin funcionar y edificios de valor histórico se tambalean a su suerte. A esto se suma la lentitud en el desarrollo de obras de infraestructura de servicios esenciales de agua, electricidad, educación y salud, que aún esperan por que la agencia obligue el dinero necesario para su desarrollo o que, en algunos casos, sean desembolsados por la Oficina Central de Recuperación, Reconstrucción y Resiliencia (COR3, en inglés).

Fishermen in Puerto Rico Approach Third Year Without Receiving Funds for Losses After Hurricane María

Three years after Hurricane María made landfall, fishermen in Puerto Rico have not seen a penny of aid funding to cover losses caused by the storm, several fisheries have not yet been repaired and others have been unable to resume their normal work due to lack of equipment, boats or ramps. At worst, some have closed down. The bureaucracy in the management of the funds, coupled with neglect in how the procedures were handled by the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) have been the obstacles to access to money, the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) found. “We would have been better off if we had been swept away [by the hurricane]. [The Department of] Agriculture told us they didn’t know what to do with us.

Federal warnings cause further delays in the post-María recovery process in Puerto Rico

Four Puerto Rico government agencies are experiencing delays in the disbursement of recovery funds related to the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and María for failing to correct a series of problems related to how they handled money granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) flagged in audits conducted in 2019. The Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency, known as COR3, Executive Director Ottmar Chávez Piñero said the audit´s claims do not limit further approvals of recovery funds by FEMA, but they do affect the process of disbursement of these monies to the agencies. COR3 is the entity in charge of channeling FEMA funds to public agencies, municipalities and nonprofit organizations. “Completing the corrective actions is certainly going to have an impact on the disbursement [of funds]. Within the grant validation process, in terms of compliance, we have to be sure that these agencies abide by the results of the audits, as part of the checklists.

Los puertorriqueños en EE UU viven en condados con más posibilidad de contagios y muertes por COVID-19

Las poblaciones puertorriqueñas en Estados Unidos viven principalmente en áreas urbanas. En estos condados, los boricuas tienden a enfrentar retos específicos, como ser considerados una minoría racial, alto nivel de desempleo y limitaciones en el manejo el inglés.

Puerto Ricans in the US live in counties with the highest possibility of COVID-19 infection and death

This investigation is possible in part with the support of the Pulitzer Center and the Facebook Journalism Project. Miriam Moreno Santiago was picking up her mother’s luggage in Orlando, Florida, when she was told she wouldn’t be able to see her. They would be taking her directly from the airplane to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing. María Isabel Santiago Colón, her 68-year-old mother, lived in Brooklyn, New York, but health complications and her age drove her to move South with her daughter. However, her journey changed.

Passengers arrive in Puerto Rico from areas of greatest contagion by coronavirus in the US

The spike in COVID-19 cases in regions with the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans living in the United States, added to the historic volume of traffic of passengers arriving from those places through the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport could represent an open route for the transmission of the virus. In Puerto Rico, epidemiology, public health, and infectious disease experts interviewed by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish) agreed. Upon reviewing data of the areas of greater COVID-19 infection in the United States, it appears that New York, New Jersey, and Florida are among the first 10 places in the spread of the virus. According to 2018 Census data, these three states are where the most Puerto Ricans live. Most of the flights that arrived at the airport between Mar.