Rihanna criticises Donald Trump's response to Puerto Rican hurricane crisis

Friday, 29 Sep, 2017

"With due respect to the president, and I think what we need here in Puerto Rico is more compassion".

McCain wrote a letter to the Department of Homeland Security asking to to analyze how a long-term waiver or repeal of the Jones Act would affect the nation.

The two described their hometown in Puerto Rico as war zones.

The Jones Act requires that goods shipped between USA ports be carried by vessels built in the us, majority-owned by American firms and crewed by us citizens.

"We've gotten A-pluses on Texas and in Florida, and we will also on Puerto Rico", Trump said. "We right now have our top people from FEMA, and they have been there".

Trump also said that he would travel to the US Virgin Islands, another American territory in the Caribbean that was slammed by a pair of powerful storms. Residents are having difficulty obtaining food and potable water. "But we have a lot of shippers, and a lot of people - a lot of people that work in the shipping industry that don't want the Jones Act lifted".

Rather, the DHS is presently reviewing a waiver request submitted by eight members of Congress, led by Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y. But he said even he couldn't go until next week at the earliest to avoid interfering with relief efforts. He said demolished airports and seaports have made it hard to get aid and personnel to the stricken island.

National Guardsmen arrive at Barrio Obrero in Santurce to distribute water and food among those affected by the passage of Hurricane Maria, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

Many people in Puerto Rico have seen no government help since Hurricane Maria tore up the USA territory last week, leaving almost all 3.4 million people on the island without power and most without water.

The initial phase of disaster response is underway, Montano says, but the response is going to take many years.

"It definitely does create some logistical challenges", Montano says. "We just felt like we should do something as a family and this is what we saw as a great opportunity".