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Puerto Rico faces fuel supply problems after Fiona

Puerto Rico afronta problemas en el suministro de combustible tras Fiona

The Government of Puerto Rico mobilized the National Guard this Friday to distribute fuel to several facilities "critics" of the island, such as hospitals and supermarkets, due to problems in the supply chain after Hurricane Fiona.

The Adjutant General of the National Guard, Division General José J. Reyes, explained at a press conference that they began the distribution with 16 missions to bring fuel to hospitals, facilities of the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA), telecommunications, supermarkets and other critical areas.

Some industries, such as the food industry, began yesterday to complain about the lack of diesel to be able to operate their generators, essential in the absence of electrical service.

Several supermarket managers and administrators of apartment buildings with electric generators confirmed to Efe the difficulties they are facing in acquiring fuel.

The authorities have assured, however, that there is not a problem of scarcity but of distribution.

The secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO), Edan Rivera, assured that from this Friday the distribution of diesel will be normalized thanks to the fact that the Yabucoa terminal was energized.

Rivera said at a press conference that there is regular gasoline for 14 days, premium for 25, and diesel for 11. In addition, this Friday a barge arrives with more diesel that will extend supplies for 60 days.

The DACO secretary stressed yesterday that, after Fiona passed, they have been "in constant communication with the nine fuel wholesalers on the island"which have reported to them, on a daily basis, both the status of their supplies, as well as the particular situations they have faced regarding the dispatch of the product.

Given the lack of electricity service, which continues to affect 60% of subscribers on the island, many businesses and individuals are using generators that require fuel to operate.

The authorities have not yet quantified the damage caused by Fiona, but Governor Pedro Pierluisi classified it as "catastrophic".

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, approved the request for a major disaster declaration for the island, which activates the arrival of federal aid.



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