28 Arrested in Puerto Rico for curfew violations after Hurricane Maria
Puerto Rico is on the brink of a “humanitarian crisis,” Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said on Monday in a plea for help from Washington.
Puerto Rico is on the brink of a “humanitarian crisis,” Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said on Monday after the U.S. territory was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
“Recognize that we Puerto Ricans are American citizens,” he said in a plea for help from Washington. More than 3.4 million residents have little water and remain without power.
His plea was echoed by Puerto Rico's allies in Congress and urged the federal government to move fastly to send money, relief workers and other supplies.
In the island, population face a new problem: pillage. A total of 28 people arrested for curfew violations and 36 more for robbery is the provisional number of lawbreakers taken into custody following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which destroyed so much of the Caribbean island's infrastructure.
Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario told a press conference Monday about the arrests for both infractions.
Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service and police inspected several businesses and suspended their sales licenses for six months for violating the Dry Law, which on specified occasions bans the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Licenses to sell alcoholic beverages will be revoked for Bottles de San Patricio, 24 Marketplace Store and B&B Marketplace, among other establishments.
The powerful weather phenomenon, which hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 19 as a Category 5 hurricane, left a provisional death toll of 16 and caused a number of airports on the island to be closed.
In San Juan airport, for example, dozens of anxious passengers on Monday had to stay overnight, some even waited for days, as the airport lacks of basic services such as water and electricity, after Hurricane Maria hit the Caribbean island five days ago.
The anguish of these passengers - some have been waiting since Friday to escape the chaos and destruction caused by Hurricane Maria - is reflected in their faces, some with tears in their eyes from the confusion of not knowing when they will be able to proceed to their destinations.
Their purposes vary, and among them are family emergencies, such as that of 16-year-old Karimi Rivera, who has been waiting for a couple of days to leave Puerto Rico for her home in the state of Wisconsin.
Rivera told EFE that she and her mother were supposed to return to the United States on Wednesday at 8am local time (12.00 GMT), but the airline canceled their flight on Monday, when Puerto Rico was preparing for the approaching Hurricane Maria, a powerful category 4 hurricane with winds of over 250 km/h (155 mph).
Agustin Arellano, the executive director of Aerostar, which is the company that manages San Juan Airport, said Monday at a press conference that the main problem of air transport is problems with the radar systems which handle the air traffic and the radio repeater stations used for communication were also destroyed.
For his part, the director of the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, Jose Izquierdo, said Monday that it is not advisable for tourists to visit Puerto Rico at the moment since the country has been largely devastated by the passage of Hurricane Maria.
"Now it is not advisable that tourists come to Puerto Rico because the conditions are not the best.