US Territories’ February 12-18, 2018 political week in tweets
Tropical Storm Gita Devastates American Samoa
— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) February 11, 2018
The American Samoa islands were struck by Tropical Cyclone Gita last weekend, leaving the island in a state of emergency. Flooded roads and power outages across the islands led to mass evacuations. No deaths have been reported, but 30 people were injured when Gita moved on to Tonga.
Clowns Give Puerto Rican Children A Reason to Smile
"Professional clowns — many from the contiguous United States — performed at a public plaza in Morovis, Puerto Rico Saturday, part of a weeks-long journey to spread cheer across the storm-devastated Island" https://t.co/eUqE5xXKld
— Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 (@PuertoRicoPUR) February 13, 2018
Clowns Without Borders (CWB), an organization dedicated to bringing the catharsis of comedy to children in disaster-struck communities, is making its way across Puerto Rico. A group of five clowns performed in Morovis and were able to help children “forget the calamity” of recent months; this is just one example of the 118 communities visited by the clown troupes so far. The clowns gifted cathartic comedy to the adults in the audience as well, joking about FEMA’s ineptitude and the prolonged lack of electricity on the island.
Bipartisan Budget Act Provides Relief to US Territories
— Pasquines (@Pasquines_US) February 13, 2018
The Bipartisan Budget Act was signed by Trump last weekend to end the second government shutdown of 2018. The act included $90 billion for relief assistance for areas sustaining damage caused by natural disasters in 2017; $2 billion has been allocated for the Virgin Islands, and $16 billion was granted to Puerto Rico. A much-needed tax extension for American Samoa was also included, as well as funding for community health centers and hospitals across the USterritories, from American Samoa to Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands.
Explosion Causes Blackout in Puerto Rico
An explosion and fire at an electrical substation knocked out power to parts of San Juan and several other municipalities in the metro area, utility officials said, highlighting how fragile the island's electrical system remains. https://t.co/GXQqClTkOp
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 13, 2018
Residents of Puerto Rico has power for a whopping three days before an explosion and fire at a PREPA electrical station in San Juan caused a major blackout. Power was mostly restored to PREPA customers the next day, though 40,000 remain without electricity elsewhere on the island. The explosion highlights the continued fragility of Puerto Rico’s power grid.
Virgin Islands: 1000 Homeowners Register for Emergency Repair Assistance
— U.S. Virgin Islands (@usvirginislands) February 15, 2018
Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA), Darryl Griffith, announced at Governor Mapp’s hurricane recovery press briefing that 1,000 residents had registered for financial help repairing their homes in the wake of the assistance program’s introduction. Mapp stated that the VI Emergency Home Repair Project should help 12,000 homes; a product of the a $166 million grant from FEMA, the project will help qualifying residents of the Virgin Islands with any disaster-related issue regarding their homes.
Earthquake Near US Territories
Breaking: Magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes off the coast of Guam pic.twitter.com/WtNVHTtjz4
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) February 13, 2018
A minor (6.2 magnitude) earthquake shook up the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. There were no reports of damage or injury from either territory, and no tsunami warning was issued.