Poor Conditions of Bridges in Puerto Rico Raise Doubts on Ability to Withstand Future Cyclones

The Department of Transportation and Public Works informed that 16 bridges suffered damage after Hurricane Fiona struck, but a Center for Investigative Journalism investigation found that this number is wrong and that, from those 16, nine bridges had their strength and stability seriously or severely affected prior to the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico on September 18.

Governor’s Cousins Have Over 20 Real Estate Consulting and Public Housing Corporations

Aside from the public housing management business, for which federal authorities are investigating Walter and Eduardo Pierluisi Isern, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi’s cousins, the Pierluisi Isern and Pierluisi González-Coya families have more than 20 active companies in real estate, consulting and business and real estate management.

Government Has No Plan to Handle Increase in Post-disaster, Gender-based Violence

Since Hurricane Fiona struck September 18, the government of Puerto Rico has held more than a dozen press conferences, but in none has it provided information that helps victims and survivors of gender-based violence get specialized aid they need during the emergency, when they are most vulnerable. 

No Solutions to Prevent Blockages in Irrigation Channels During Severe Floods in Puerto Rico

Communities around the irrigation channels, whose conditions worsened due to the flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona, will continue to be at risk because there are no immediate solutions to prevent obstructions during extraordinary rainfall events, experts and the government of Puerto Rico told the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish). Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) set aside $62 million in Hurricane María recovery funds for permanent work projects for this network of irrigation channels, the process is still in the design stage, one of the steps required by the federal agency to allocate the funds and, eventually, disburse them. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) submitted three permanent works projects to FEMA in October 2021 for the three irrigation districts it manages in Patillas in the South, Isabela in the North and Lajas in the southwestern coast. These structures belonged to the former Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority (PRWRA), created in 1941 to manage the reservoirs used for electricity generation. Irrigation channels are part of that system and now provide water for agriculture in those areas.

Hurricane Shelters Without Water and Electricity Don’t Comply With the Law

Hurricane Fiona’s first gusts were barely blowing when dozens of mayors had to improvise solutions. When they arrived at the locations that the government of Puerto Rico certified as shelters, they found they had no water tanks or power generators. At that time, a copy of Act 88 sat on a desk.