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Puerto Rico after Maria: What you need to know

02 October 2017

Cruz, a member of the island's Popular Democratic party, said Friday that federal aid was coming in too slowly, and criticized Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke for referring to USA response to the struggling Puerto Rico as a "good news story". Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted Thursday that the waiver will go into effect immediately. Today, the law does nothing to increase America's military readiness - but much to increase the cost of living in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Alaska.

The death toll was not as severe as Hurricane Irma - Maria claimed more than 30 lives in the Caribbean, including at least 16 in Puerto Rico.

But many people remain desperate for necessities, most urgently water, and nearly all of the island's 3.4 million residents - who are United States citizens - are without without power, with even hospitals are relying on generators.

Rihanna has urged President Donald Trump to increase government efforts to help American citizens in hurricane hit Puerto Rico.

Studies show that the Jones Act is partly to blame for the significant increases in costs to ship goods to Puerto Rico and Hawaii, doubling them in some cases.

"But when it comes to food and water and diapers and things like that, they can not wait", said Ivette Solivan, President of the Puerto Rican Professional Association of Rhode Island.

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a World War I-era law that requires goods shipped between USA ports to only travel on American ships built and crewed by American citizens.

The Trump administration waived the act after recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which battered Florida and Texas.

The 500 National Guard troops will help with logistics to get food, water, and other supplies from the island's port distributed to the people, Christie said.

For some Puerto Ricans, comments by Trump about the island's protracted financial crisis, and the amount of attention he has given to other, less pressing, issues while Puerto Rico suffers, just compounds the misery.

When CNN Breaking News tweeted about five former presidents expanding their hurricane relief works to include Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands, Rihanna quote-tweeted it and applauded them for their support. But if you want send cargo by ship, according to the Jones Act, the ship has to be American made.

The U.S. government has now shipped 4 million meals and 1.59 million gallons of water. "And we have a lot of ships out there right now". Some residents say it is only going to get worse.

The president also hashtagged his tweets with #PRStrong and a Puerto Rican.

Puerto Rico after Maria: What you need to know