Donald Trump brands mayor in disaster-hit Puerto Rico ‘nasty’ for criticising relief effort and appears to accuse hurricane victims of ‘wanting everything done for them’

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DONALD Trump has branded a mayor in disaster-hit Puerto Rico “nasty” and appeared to accuse hurricane victims of wanting “everything to be done for them”.

Much of the US territory is still without power or fresh water a week-and-a-half after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

 Donald Trump has attacked the mayor of San Juan on Twitter

Reuters
Donald Trump has attacked the mayor of San Juan on Twitter
 Carmen Yulin Cruz, left, hugs a woman affected by Hurricane Maria

EPA
Carmen Yulin Cruz, left, hugs a woman affected by Hurricane Maria

Relief efforts have been slammed by many, including the mayor of the Puerto Rican capital San Juan, who labelled it inadequate.

Carmen Yulin Cruz said: “We are dying here and I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out logistics for a small island.”

But the US president hit back with a flurry of tweets today.

He wrote: “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.

“Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.

“They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”

 The mayor has been critical of the relief effort by the US government

Getty Images – Getty
The mayor has been critical of the relief effort by the US government
 Yulin wore a t-shirt on TV reading: 'Help us we are dying'

CNN
Yulin wore a t-shirt on TV reading: ‘Help us we are dying’

The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

…Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2017

San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz slams Hurricane Maris response

The Mayor of San Juan is wading through sewage, searching for people with a bullhorn while @realDonaldTrump insults her on twitter. pic.twitter.com/hO5iZ1PICj

— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) September 30, 2017

Many of the island’s first responders, desperately working to keep their own families alive, have been unable to join in the larger relief effort.

People in San Juan have been queuing for hours for petrol, while desperate residents in the interior said reporters were the first outsiders they had seen.

Elisa Gonzalez, 49, said: “There’s been no help from FEMA nor from the federal government nor from anyone.”

San Juan Mayor passionately pleads for help saying, ‘we are going to see something close to a genocide’
 Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico when it struck last week

Reuters
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico when it struck last week
 Residents in Loiza wade through the flood waters in the aftermath of the storm

Rex Features
Residents in Loiza wade through the flood waters in the aftermath of the storm
 A resident cleans mud from his home after flash flooding caused by the hurricane

Rex Features
A resident cleans mud from his home after flash flooding caused by the hurricane
 An elderly resident makes her way through the wreckage of her damaged home in San Juan

Rex Features
An elderly resident makes her way through the wreckage of her damaged home in San Juan

Authorities said power has been restored to just five per cent of the island, while two thirds is still without communications and half has no water.

Bob Kadlec, a US health and human services assistant secretary, said Saturday that he could not confirm reports of disease outbreaks caused by contaminated water sources, but added that “it would not be unusual”.

Across the island, people continue to wait for help.

 Members of the Puerto Rican National Guard deliver food and water via helicopter to hurricane survivors

Getty Images – Getty
Members of the Puerto Rican National Guard deliver food and water via helicopter to hurricane survivors
 Troops hand out aid to survivors in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Reuters
Troops hand out aid to survivors in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Incredible moment helicopter rescues Puerto Rican family who wrote HELP on their roof Hurricane Maria

Georgina Penalver, 89, in the central town of Comerio said she has been unable to get through to her eight children in the mainland US.

She told reporters: “Today I am alone – with God and the Virgin.”

Trump sparked controversy earlier this week when he chose to remind the stricken islanders how much they are in debt to the US.

He said: “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.”

In another tweet, he added that while much of the island was destroyed “billions of dollars” was still owed to Wall Street and the “banks … sadly must be dealt with”.

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