U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Monday that Congress was committed to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria last week.
“The stories and images coming out of Puerto Rico are devastating,” Ryan said in a statement.
“Congress is working with the administration to ensure necessary resources get to the U.S. territory. Our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico remain in our prayers as we make sure they have what they need,” the statement added.
Puerto Rico remains without power, except for generators, and phone service is spotty, as officials struggle to provide food and water to those affected by the worst storm to hit the island of 3.4 million in nearly a century.
Tens of thousands of people evacuated from a river valley below a failing dam Saturday in northeast Puerto Rico, urged to do so by the National Weather Service. “Stay away or be swept away,” the weather service said. Puerto Rico was already facing economic trouble before the onslaught of the hurricane.
In addition to Puerto Rico, Maria lashed other parts of the Caribbean. Twenty-seven people were reported dead on Dominica, which has a population of about 71,000. Three deaths were reported in Haiti, two in the French territory of Guadeloupe and one in the Dominican Republic.