The mayor of San Juan warned that if residents of Puerto Rico do not have access to food or water, the post-hurricane situation could be "close to a genocide."
"I am asking members of the press to send a mayday call. We are dying here," Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said at a press conference Friday afternoon. "And if we don't get the food and water into people's hands, we are going to see something close to a genocide."
BREAKING: We are dying here we are going to see something close to a genocide" if we don't get more help, San Juan mayor says. pic.twitter.com/Dlfi76m3v9— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 29, 2017
Earlier in the day Friday, Cruz slammed acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke after Duke made remarks that the relief efforts on the island is "a really good news story."
"Dammit, this is not a good news story," Cruz said on CNN New Day. "This is a 'people are dying' story. This is a life or death story."
Federal Emergency Management Agency, first responders, and the military have been sent to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist those recovering from the aftermath of recent hurricanes.A number of hurricanes have ravaged parts of the U.S. in recent weeks. Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and Louisiana last month, followed by Hurricane Irma, which hit the Caribbean and Florida. Hurricane Maria also swept through the Caribbean and made landfall over Puerto Rico, causing power and communications outages throughout the island.
The U.S. territory is still struggling with picking up the pieces.
Trump will visit the island on Tuesday. White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert arrived in Puerto Rico on Monday.