An audit by the US Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General found irregularities in the payment of $17.1 million that the Federal Emergency Management Agency disbursed to nonprofit organizations for post-disaster work 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.
Las comunidades aledañas a los canales de riego cuyas condiciones empeoraron por las inundaciones causadas por el paso del huracán Fiona continuarán en riesgo pues no existen soluciones inmediatas que eviten las obstrucciones de estas zanjas durante eventos de lluvia extraordinaria.
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.
The DS is responsible for licensing, inspecting and supervising all hospitals, ensuring that their physical plant meets the safety standards required by Act 101 on Health Facilities and the Health Secretary’s Regulations for the Construction, Operation, Maintenance and Licensing of Hospitals in Puerto Rico.
Los residentes de Puerto Rico quedaron en un evidente rezago en la cantidad de fondos asignados y el tiempo en recibirlos, concluye un informe de la Comisión de Derechos Civiles de Estados Unidos al evaluar los esfuerzos de socorro y respuesta a los huracanes Harvey en Texas y María en Puerto Rico en el 2017.
The inequity in the federal response to both disasters becomes more evident if one compares that nine days after Harvey hit Texas, FEMA approved $141.8 million in individual assistance for victims, while nine days after María, that federal agency barely approved $6.2 million for survivors in Puerto Rico.