Bottled Water Meant For Hurricane Maria Survivors Rots Away On Tarmac

The stockpile is believed to have been a part of aid package meant for the survivors of Hurricane Maria, which wrought havoc on the U.S. territory in 2017.



The aftermath of 2017's Hurricane Maria has been as trying and testing for the survivors as the hurricane itself, thanks to the government that failed to manage humanitarian assistance, according to a majority of Puerto Rico residents.

A photographer working for a Puerto Rican police agency came across an example of poor relief efforts and captured it on camera.

Abdiel Santana posted photos on Facebook showing a stockpile of bottled water just sitting on a tarmac in Ceiba. The water, reportedly sufficient for a million people, is believed to have been a part of an aid package meant for the survivors of Hurricane Maria.

CBS news correspondent David Begnaud spoke to Santana and found the photographer first saw the stockpile last year and during a recent visit found it sitting in the exact same spot.



This was just one of the many examples of inadequate relief efforts. Power was completely restored just in August, nearly a year after the catastrophe. In October 2017, reports revealed how Puerto Ricans had resorted to collecting drinking water from hazardous waste sites.

During the same time, the stockpile of bottled water, photographed by Santana, rotted away at the Ceiba airport.

Water service on the U.S. island was finally restored to more than 96 percent of customers in June but the quality remained uncertain.

Even the death toll remains controversially undercounted. While the island's officials in late August put the number at 2,975, it is believed many more people died as a result of the hurricane and in its aftermath.

Despite that, President Donald Trump insists the U.S. government's response to the tragedy is "unsung success."


Banner/Thumbnail Credits: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images

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