It has been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, devastating huge swaths of the island. At least 43 people have died, a number that may rise as communication systems improve. The island’s health care workers are facing a crisis exacerbated by diesel fuel shortages and low supplies of medicine.
Here’s a look at the recovery effort by the numbers, and the problems that remain.
Only 16 percent of the island has electricity.
Restoring electricity has been one of the island’s biggest priorities — and its biggest challenge. So far, 84 percent of the territory continues to go without power. Generators that run on gas or diesel have been powering hospitals, apartment buildings, restaurants and other structures.
About 67 percent of cell towers remain down and more than 80 percent of cellphone antennas aren’t working, making communication difficult.
More than 6,000 people are in shelters.
Puerto Rico is currently operating 112 shelters housing 6,067 people. Those with the means to leave have been abandoning their destroyed homes and flying to the United States. Some plan to return, others say they’re never coming back. Officials say more than 100,000 people could end up in the Orlando area in the coming months.
All of the island’s airports and 78 percent of the gas stations are operational, but only 392 miles of the 5,073 miles of roads are open.
About 37 percent still don’t have drinking water.
About 37 percent of the island remains without running water. Residents have been receiving bottled water, but as of last week distribution remained a challenge. Approximately 86 percent of the island’s supermarkets are open.
98 percent of hospitals are open.
Most of Puerto Rico’s hospitals and dialysis centers are open, but the shortage of fuel, which is used by the generators powering these facilities, continues to create problems.
The Department of Defense sent the U.S.N.S. Comfort, a medical ship with 250 hospital beds, to Puerto Rico on Oct. 3.