puerto rico dam

Hurricane Maria devastated the entire island of Puerto Rico, and now officials fear that the Guajataca Dam, which suffered “infrastructure damage” in the storm, could give way.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN late Sunday that the dam is “releasing water.” As he explained:

“And that dam is partly concrete, partly soil. So as water runs through, erosion starts having its toll on the dam and my concern is at some point it’ll break.”

Some 70,000 people in the area of the dam were told to evacuate Friday, according to the National Guard. And because more than 95% of wireless cell sites are still out of service, authorities had to physically go from door to door to warn people about the potential collapse.

The dam is far from the only thing Puerto Ricans have to contend with in Maria’s aftermath. With crucial supplies like food, water, and fuel nearly out, Rosselló has asked Congress for an aid package:

“Congress can act. If they don’t act, my fear is that we will see massive migration, it will be depleting the human resource here in Puerto Rico and it will be effecting demographic change in the United States as well.”

President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico last week, but many lawmakers are waiting for him to do more. According to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, 4,000 members of the U.S. Army Reserves have been deployed to the island to aid in disaster relief, and another 1,600 service members from the National Guard have responded.

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