LULAC Asks For Federal Aid To Puerto Rico Following 6.4 Earthquake

Washington, DC -The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today reported that its members and leaders in Puerto Rico are in contact with teams across a large swath of communities assessing the extent of damage and injuries caused by Tuesday morning’s powerful earthquake off its southwestern coast. LULAC leadership issued the following statements urging airlines to reduce airfare costs and calling on the federal government to provide immediate support for Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens.

“I am urgently asking Americans everywhere to contact their elected representatives in Congress and their senators and ask for immediate assistance to Puerto Rico,” said National LULAC President Domingo Garcia. “We also ask that US airlines reduce fares to and from Puerto Rico to allow emergency evacuations and travel. We cannot repeat mistakes of the past that will prove to be as costly in terms of lives lost or human suffering because of prolonged loss of vital public services. All indications are that more aftershocks will continue to threaten already fragile buildings and homes so we must move quickly to provide refuge, food, water, and medical assistance to Puerto Rico. It is our duty to do so as a nation and I call upon the Administration to act now.”

“We are thankful that the people of Puerto Rico are resilient and that their spirit is strong to again endure another natural disaster but we call upon the federal government of the United States to dispatch help with urgency to its citizens on the island,” said LULAC Puerto Rico Director Jennie Rivera.

“Today, the images we are again witnessing are a haunting reminder of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria in 2017, an event from which we have yet to fully recover. However, LULAC Councils throughout Puerto Rico are also in contact via text messages with one another to see where help is needed most urgently and we are doing everything within our resources to assist,” added LULAC Puerto Rico Councilmember Elise Valdes.

Cal Sur, a power generation plant located in the southern region of Puerto Rico has been damaged by the earthquake and millions of people are without electricity or communications, except via cellular texting where towers have not been knocked out. Residents are also suffering from a loss of access to clean drinking water with an estimated 300,000 people affected by the outage of municipal utility systems responsible for pumping potable water. There is growing concern that in addition to collapsed buildings and other structures which have been left uninhabitable, patients on life-saving equipment may be again stranded, as were thousands including many who died in the aftermath of Maria.

About LULAC
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/

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