Following the lingering suffering unleashed by Hurricane Maria which battered the Caribbean in September, tens of thousands of Puerto Rico residents are fleeing to Florida to find better survival.
The island still struggles to regain power more than one month after the storm. About 70% of the approximately 3.4 million populated of the US territory, is still without power, while many do not have access to reliable drinking water.
Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are in the midst of the largest blackout in US history, ahead of Hurricane Georges in 1998 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 after the Hurricane knocked out the electric grid on the islands according to a report from an economic research company.
“Since October 3, 2017, more than 73,000 individuals arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico through Miami International Airport, Orlando International Airport and the Everglades Port,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s office said in a statement.
The United States approved Florida to host residents with the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on October 5, he said.
“This agreement approves 100% federal reimbursement for costs incurred by the state of Florida related to the accommodation of those displaced by Hurricane Maria,” he added.
As a result, the state has opened three disaster relief centres at the main airports in Orlando, Miami, and the Port of Miami for displaced families from Puerto Rico, while staff from several agencies, including FEMA and the American Red Cross, are on ground to help incoming residents, the governor disclosed.