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Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico is running out of cash

30 Sep 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar
Hurricane Maria relief: What's happening with Puerto Rico?

The tiny island territory of Puerto Rico was recently hit by Category-IV Hurricane Maria.

As Puerto Rico grapples with problems including a total destruction of its electricity infrastructure and lack of food and water, its residents are now facing a dearth of hard cash.

This is making it even more difficult for people to access basic necessities.

Here's more about it.

In context: Hurricane Maria relief: What's happening with Puerto Rico?

30 Sep 2017Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico is running out of cash

Puerto RicoHurricane Maria leaves whole of Puerto Rico without power

On 20 September, the US territory of Puerto Rico was bludgeoned by Hurricane Maria weeks after being devastated by Hurricane Irma.

Maria is the most powerful storm on record to hit Puerto Rico in over a century.

The US National Hurricane Center pointed to a worrying situation and stated that "catastrophic flooding was sweeping parts of the island."

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SituationWhat do ground reports suggest?

Officials suggest that it may take months for Puerto Rico to recover from the devastation.

"There's a lot of tension, it's hard to find water and food and we still don't have any supermarkets open near us," states Maria Morales, a San Juan resident.

With many businesses operating without power and unable to take credit cards, the situation is negatively affecting the island's economy.

New York Fed: Cash demand evolve further

"Demand for cash is extraordinarily high right now and will evolve as depository institutions regain power, armored car services are able to reach branches, and ATMs are once again active," the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a statement released this week.

ResponseHow have US authorities responded to the crisis?

The US government has identified, providing safety and life-sustaining resources to Puerto Rico, as a top priority.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin revealed that the government has sent emergency cash shipments and is figuring out ways to address the crisis.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) further claims to have "provided millions of meals and millions of liters of water" to Puerto Ricans.

White house repeals the Jones Act to help Puerto Rico

In response to requests from Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, the White House temporarily waived the Jones Act which is said to have been unnecessarily delaying relief material from getting to the island. The waiver will last for 10 days.
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DetailsWhy are emergency supplies stranded in Puerto Rico's ports?

At least 9,500 containers carrying emergency supplies are said to be docked in Puerto Rico's ports.

This is due to a distribution crisis triggered by complications from the hurricane such as damaged roads, lack of fuel and communication issues.

Meanwhile, FEMA has assured that the supplies are being moved to distribution centers as they come in.