The Government of Puerto Rico leapt into action this past weekend as Hurricanes Irma and Jose hurled into the Caribbean islands, to aid in the evacuation efforts of thousands of people. In collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States, the organizations were able to successfully transport 1,028 people to safety, according to an official press statement.
A majority of evacuees were US citizens. They were escorted from St. Marteen and Saint Thomas following the aftermath of the tropical storms. “The Government of Puerto Rico responded to the call of our fellow Americans in need not only out of solidarity but because it is our responsibility as the closest United States territory,” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló stated.
Evacuation efforts will continue as the weather conditions deescalate, the governor stated. In the meantime, Gov. Rosselló is said to be coordinating adequate lodging and medical assistance with the State Department and National Guard, among other organizations.
Aid has already been provided to a number of evacuees, including food, hotel and travel accommodations. Burger King, JetBlue, Iberia and singer Ozuna y Dímelo Vi reportedly donated food to those arriving at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. Southwest Airlines also donated snacks and ice.