Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) announced that he will be leading a humanitarian mission in Puerto Rico on Thursday, Jan. 16, through Tuesday, Jan. 21, to help with recovery efforts on the island following a series of devastating earthquakes. He will be joined by Senator Luis SepÃºlveda and Assemblyman JosÃ© Rivera.
The people of Puerto Rico are still trying to rebuild after Hurricane Maria left the island in shambles only a few years ago, Ramos said. Now, as more earthquakes continue to wreak havoc, its critical we lend a helping hand to our fellow Americans in their time of need. Im committed to doing everything I can to help Puerto Rico during this harrowing time, both while Im on the island and when I return home. When tragedy strikes, our actions can make a monumental difference, and I hope that by coming together and providing direct relief, we can show the families of Puerto Rico that theyre not alone.
In just the last month, Puerto Rico has been hit by a series of earthquakes, including a 6.4-magnitude earthquake the strongest earthquake in more than a century on Jan. 7 that killed at least one person and caused an island-wide blackout. Another major earthquake hit the island only days later causing further damage and leaving about 59,000 people without power. The quakes have caused $110 million in damages and have destroyed nearly 600 buildings.
To help those affected by the earthquakes, Ramos is leading a delegation of constituents and elected officials on a humanitarian mission to determine the scope of the damage and how to best assist the island in ongoing recovery efforts.
The mission will be focused on:
- assisting New York State Power Authority representatives in restoring electricity to the entire island;
- working with the Hispanic Federation to distribute potable water and uncontaminated food;
- locating relatives of Long Island residents who they have been unable to contact;
- videoing the situation in order to provide information and updates about their family and friends; and
- assessing the islands long-term recovery needs and reporting back to state and local officials so the state can conduct relief efforts in a timely and effective manner.
Ramos urges residents who have been unable to contact a loved one in Puerto Rico to reach out to his office immediately at (631) 435-3214. Similar to the assistance he provided in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Ramos will attempt to locate these individuals, meet their short- and long-term needs and provide residents with videos of their condition. As communities across Puerto Rico recover from another natural disaster, Ill do everything I can to give Long Island residents firsthand accounts of the situation while helping those affected begin to rebuild, Ramos noted.