Hurricane Maria Supplies found in Puerto Rico-Emergency Director Fired

CNN Puerto Rico Emergency Aid

In a bizarre moment, a rare and disheartening find in Puerto Rico, in wake of the recent earthquakes earlier on Saturday, Jun. 18, 2020, numerous pallets of water and other boxes with emergency supplies were found at a warehouse in the earthquake-ravaged city of Ponce. The pallets of bedding, food, and medical supplies sat wrapped in plastic and unused in a warehouse for more than two years while Puerto Ricans suffered through the aftermath of a devastating hurricane and, recently, an earthquake. Now their discovery has triggered a political firestorm.

CNN Reports:  Ponce, Puerto Rico (CNN) Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced fired the island’s emergency manager, hours after a warehouse filled with supplies was discovered.

Puerto Rico
People break into a warehouse with supplies believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017 in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Jan. 18, 2020, after a powerful earthquake hit the island. (Photo by Ricardo ARDUENGO / AFP)
The emergency aid is believed to be from when Hurricane Maria hit the island two years ago, the governor said.
Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, was dismissed Saturday. The governor appointed Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, to replace him.
Earlier on Saturday, numerous pallets of water and other boxes with emergency supplies were found at a warehouse in the earthquake-ravaged city of Ponce.

Several residents were seen opening the rolling metal doors of the building and calling for authorities to distribute the supplies. Families began lining up Saturday afternoon outside the warehouse, hoping to get bottled water, food and emergency radios, CNN affiliate WAPA reported.

Update: On Sunday, Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired two more officials in the most recent development since anger broke out over a viral video showing unused emergency supplies – allegedly left-over aid from Hurricane Maria – sitting in a warehouse in the southern coastal city of Ponce.