Celebs aid ’cane vics
HUNGER, THIRST and outrage continued in Puerto Rico Friday even as President Trump cited the death toll from Hurricane Maria as evidence his administration was doing an “incredible” job.
“The loss of life — it’s always tragic — but it’s been incredible, the results that we’ve had with respect to loss of life,” the President said. “People can’t believe how successful that has been, relatively speaking.”
While thousands more Puerto Ricans were finally getting water and food rations Friday, others lugged empty buckets around in the streets, desperately searching for water trucks or neighbors willing to share.
In the northwestern city of Aguadilla, over 1,000 people were lined up for meals at 8 a.m. and received only four bottles of water each and four “snacks,” CBS News reported. When some returned for seconds, the Red Cross had to turn them away.
Some help arrived late Friday — Spirit Airlines flew 27,000 pounds of supplies into the city and departed with 200 evacuees, CBS reported. But many there remained desperate.
“My family is in Aguadilla and they are hungry,” Carrie Perez, 49, of Bristol, Conn., told the Daily News Friday. “There’s no power. My brother’s generator is out. There’s no fuel, no food, now no water. I go to bed at night and my stomach is full. I feel guilty,” she said, breaking down in tears.
“The response has been slow. There’s areas were people don’t have water or food,” Luis Angel Diaz, an officer in the Puerto Rico National Guard, told The News.
Lack of necessities also led to price gouging.
“We need money to buy supplies and water! Many stores are killing us with extremely high prices,” Sulaima Cruz, a resident of Toda Alta, said in a Facebook post Friday.
Before the hurricane, 24 bottles of water cost $2.99 to $3.99, she said. Since then, stores have been charging $10 for them.
San Juan’s mayor was furious over the pace of aid and statements from federal officials.
“We have no time for patience anymore,” Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told reporters as she stood in front of cases of food locked in what she’s called a bureaucratic bottleneck.
“I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying and you are killing us with the inefficiency,” she said.
At least one glimmer of hope emerged in the capital, however, when electricity was restored to the San Jorge Children’s Hospital last Friday.
Earlier in the day, Yulín Cruz (inset) blasted Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke for her Thursday comment that Puerto Rico was “really a goodnews story.” “Dammit, this is not a good news story,” Yulín Cruz told CNN. “This is a people-aredying story. This is a life-or-death story.”At least 16 people have died in Puerto Rico as a result of the Category 4 storm that screamed ashore Sept. 20. CELEBRITIES WANT you to laugh at their younger selves to help raise money for hurricaneravaged Puerto Rico.
Stephen Colbert and actor Nick Kroll launched the hashtag #puberme on Colbert’s show this week to make the internet laugh for a good cause.
On Wednesday evening’s episode of “The Late Show,” Kroll dared Colbert to share an awkward picture of himself with the “puber me” and “Puerto Rico relief” hashtags, saying he would do the same to begin raising money for relief efforts.
The host lived up to his promise and tweeted a picture of himself as a brace-faced teen “lookin’ cool as hell.” Kroll responded with an equally adorable and embarrassing throwback of his own in an oversized double-breasted suit.
The pair called on other famous faces to do the same, and for every celebrity who does, Colbert said he will donate money to the island through his charity, the Americone Dream Fund. Kroll said he would match it.
Fellow evening talk show host Jimmy Kimmel quickly replied with his own dorky picture of himself wearing short-shorts next to a car with a license plate that reads “L8 Nite.”
And now, other celebs such as Jimmy Fallon, Judd Apatow, Kathy Griffin, Samantha Bee, Lena Dunham, Billy Eichner, Kumail Nanjiani, Lena Headey and many more have tweeted their own awkward images.
People bathe under a tarp on a hillside (below) and in a spring (inset, bottom). Hurricane survivors receive food and water from volunteers in Toa Baja (inset, top).