Puerto Rico holds ceremonies to mark one year since deadly Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico holds ceremonies to mark one year since deadly Hurricane Maria

"One year (after the event) is quite good for what we generally do", U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson said.

"Why are there bureaucratic processes here that were addition to those in Florida and Texas?" he asked. "It's a day of remembrance", said Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello, adding: "we can honor victims" by rebuilding stronger and more resilient infrastructure.

Tiffany Cross moderated the Capitol Hill panel on the government's response a year ago to Hurricane Maria, saying it was the biggest Capitol Hill panel of experts to meet on the hurricane since it hit.

The powerful and deadly storm damaged hundreds of thousands of homes and knocked out power across the island for months.

Last week, President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account to insult the people of Puerto Rico, falsely claiming that the reported death toll from 2017's Hurricane Maria, totaled at nearly 3,000 lost lives, was a false statistic, allegedly inflated "by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible".

In its 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Impact on Communications Report, released in August 2018, the Commission highlighted Chairman Pai's visit to Puerto Rico, the "repurposed funds" sent to the island, and regulator waivers that were granted as the bulk of "the numerous actions" of aid the Commission has taken. "Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!"

Last week, Trump faced bipartisan backlash for his tweet asserting that 3,000 people did not die as a result of the hurricane.

In this September 8, 2018 photo, Alma Morales Rosario poses for a portrait between the beams of her home being rebuilt after it was destroyed by Hurricane Maria one year ago in the San Lorenzo neighborhood of Morovis, Puerto Rico.

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Pastor Elder Gonzalez said he and other volunteers who flew to Puerto Rico after the hurricane to help were shocked at what he saw from up high.

Even before the Category-4 storm hit, Puerto Rico was financially bankrupt with $120 billion in debt and pension liabilities it can not pay.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that another 500 students from public schools around the state will head to the island territory this school year.

More than 200,000 people left the island after the storm, mostly to the USA mainland, according to government data. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed temporary blue roofs on almost 60,000 homes, and there are still tens of thousands of insurance claims pending.

"It shows people can help each other if they want to", she said.

"We've had some great anecdotal stories coming out of Puerto Rico", Dr. Pruitt said.

"We lost people, roofs and houses, but our community worked hard to get back on its feet", said Wilfredo Lopez, a community leader of the Sonadora neighborhood in Aguas Buenas, which had disaster-trained residents and its own protocols in place before the storm hit.

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