Puerto Rico has mobilised thousands of federal agents ahead of what threatens to be the first hurricane to lash the US territory since it was ravaged by Maria in 2017, authorities said Tuesday.
US forecasters warn that Tropical Storm Dorian could reach hurricane strength by the time it passes the island’s southwestern coast on Wednesday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said some 3,000 agents had been deployed and were “ready to respond.”
“Emergency communications, logistics & transportation teams are also positioned on the island,” it said on Twitter.
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria went from one end of Puerto Rico to the other, leaving a trail of destruction from which it has yet to recover.
A study accepted as valid by the island’s government estimates that nearly 3,000 people died as a result of the hurricane and its aftermath.
“Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end?” US President Donald Trump said in a tweet.
He posted that US aid approved for the island last year was a record $92 billion — “an all-time record of its kind for ‘anywhere.'”
In fact, Congress has allocated $42.5 billion to disaster relief for Puerto Rico, according to FEMA’s website, but the island has received less than $14 billion.
Puerto Rico’s new governor, Wanda Vazquez, declared a state of emergency and said the island was better prepared this time to respond to any contingency.