January 22, 2020 – Guánica, P.R. – On January 21-22, 2020, Members of a Congressional STAFF-DEL from the House Committee on Natural Resources joined by PRFAA visited a refugee camp in Puerto Rico and met with officials to discuss disaster recovery. The STAFF-DEL visited the Guánica camp located in the southwest of the island, where currently hundreds of people sleep under a tent, in cots, as seismic activity continues to strike the region.
Following the Guánica site visit, the STAFF-DEL met with the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), José Ortiz; Chairman of the Puerto Rico Energy Bureau, Edison Avilés; Personnel of the Department of ‘Vivienda’ Housing; and with Ottmar Chávez the Executive Director of the Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resilience (COR3) to discuss disaster recovery after the 2020 earthquakes. This visit comes because the House Committee on Natural Resources provides oversight and has jurisdiction over the U.S. territories including Puerto Rico.
Additionally, yesterday Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to include the municipalities of Adjuntas, Cabo Rojo, Corozal, Jayuya, Lajas, Lares, Maricao, San Germán, San Sebastián, and Villalba in the Individual Assistance program included in the Major Disaster Declaration after these surrounding towns of the south and southwest have also reported severe damage to infrastructure. This request was approved by FEMA today.
“We want to thank the STAFF-DEL of the Natural Resources Committee for visiting the Guánica camp after recent seismic activity affected the region,” said Jennifer M. Storipan, Esq. “It is important that we continue to monitor the situation in the south and southwest of the island so that the U.S. citizens residing in Puerto Rico can receive the assistance they need. PRFAA looks forward to supporting Congressional Delegations that visit the island as well as continuing our working relationships and advocacy efforts before Congress and the Administration on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico.”