Washington D.C.– La comisionada residente en Washington, Jenniffer González, coincidió hoy con el director regional de la Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias (FEMA, por sus siglas inglés), Thomas Von Essen, en que Puerto Rico no está listo para hacerle frente a un desastre de envergadura.

“Definitivamente no está listo Puerto Rico para enfrentar un huracán o tormenta mayor”, indicó la comisionada, en un tuit, al hacer referencia a que a las 4:20 p.m. hoy había sobre 410,000 personas sin energía eléctrica tras el paso al sur de la isla de la tormenta Isaías.

González dijo que sectores de Puerto Rico quedaron sin servicio de energía eléctrica debido a “vegetación” que dañó una línea.

En una carta, con fecha del 14 de julio, Von Essen – cargo de la región 2 de FEMA que incluye a Puerto Rico-, indicó a la gobernadora Wanda Vázquez Garced que manifestó sus preocupaciones en una reunión cara a cara con el secretario de la Gobernación, Antonio Pabón, el secretario de Seguridad Pública, Pedro Janer y el general retirado Marcelo Rolón, quien el 7 de julio fue designado por la gobernador como director interino del Negociado de Manejo de Emergencias y Manejo de Desastres(NMEAD), ante la súbita renuncia el día antes del director José Burgos.

No obstante, dice Von Essen, cuatro semanas después de la reunión, ninguna de sus preocupaciones había sido atendida.

Unos 394,000 abonados de la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE) y 150,000 de la Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (AAA) continuaban al caer la noche del jueves sin los servicios básicos, debido a las averías reportadas ante el paso cercano de la tormenta tropical Isaías.

Durante una conferencia de prensa realizada hoy en la sede del Negociado de Manejo de Emergencias y Administración de Desastres (Nmead), el secretario de Estado, Elmer Román, detalló que los municipios más afectados por la falta de servicio de energía eléctrica son Ponce, Caguas y Mayagüez.

Florida’s two GOP senators joined Puerto Rico’s top official in Congress on Tuesday to ask President Trump for federal support following a series of earthquakes on the island.

Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott signed a letter with Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R) asking Trump to order agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide immediate assistance to Puerto Rico.

“The localities that are grappling with the effects of the earth tremors are smaller municipalities that do not have the necessary resources to handle the situation alone, and the Puerto Rico local agencies are taxed to their limits by their fiscal condition and the continuing larger recovery effort,” they wrote.

Puerto Rico was hit Tuesday morning by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake after suffering a series of smaller earthquakes that caused damage and power outages over the weekend.

Tuesday’s earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquakes come as the island struggles to rebuild its infrastructure and economy after the devastation from Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

The request for federal assistance could touch a nerve with Trump, whose administration has been slow to release the funds appropriated for Puerto Rico’s reconstruction.

More than four months have passed since the Department of Housing and Urban Development was supposed to publish a notice on how it plans to distribute more than $8 billion in disaster relief funds for the island.

President Trump has called the island “one of the most corrupt places on Earth.”

For the three Republican lawmakers who signed Tuesday’s letter, Puerto Rico disaster recovery is a priority, with the two senators looking to deliver their state for Trump in November. Florida has the largest Puerto Rican diaspora in the country, at more than 1.2 million residents.

González is up for reelection this year amid political turbulence that has created uncertainty for incumbents.

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez signed an emergency declaration Tuesday. She said in a statement that she has spoken to several members of Congress and that federal agencies are ready to assist the U.S. territory.

The island’s Financial Oversight and Management Board — a congressionally mandated office that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances — announced Tuesday it had authorized the disbursement of $260 million for emergency funds related to the earthquakes.

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