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Trump, Ryan Promises Relief to Puerto Rico Hurricane Victims

  • VOA News

National Guardsmen arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 24, 2017.

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Monday that Congress was committed to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria last week.

"The stories and images coming out of Puerto Rico are devastating," Ryan said in a statement.

"Congress is working with the administration to ensure necessary resources get to the U.S. territory. Our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico remain in our prayers as we make sure they have what they need," the statement added.


Puerto Rico remains without power, except for generators, and phone service is spotty, as officials struggle to provide food and water to those affected by the worst storm to hit the island of 3.4 million in nearly a century.

In a series of tweets Monday evening, President Donald Trump said that Puerto Rico's infrastructure contributed to the severity of Maria's impact.

He also noted the territory's debt crisis, which led it to restructure about $70 billion in debt earlier this year, "must be dealt with," though his tweets offered no specifics on what that might mean.

The president also tweeted that "Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well."

In addition to Puerto Rico, Maria lashed other parts of the Caribbean. Twenty-seven people were reported dead on Dominica, which has a population of about 71,000. Three deaths were reported in Haiti, two in the French territory of Guadeloupe and one in the Dominican Republic.

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