Puerto Rico morgue overflowing with unclaimed bodies

Puerto Rico morgue overflowing with unclaimed bodies

In one of New York City's largest annual parades, thousands of spectators took to the streets to celebrate National Puerto Rican Day on Sunday in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue.

"This is a very important parade and a very meaningful parade given the tragedy and the devastation of the homeland", Louis Maldonado, National Puerto Rican Day Parade (NPRDP) Board Chair, said ahead of the march.

Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico in September 2017, the island nation is still struggling to recover.

Those watching the parade in person saw that in the marching contingents, including one made up of people who are on the USA mainland only because they were displaced from their homes on the island, he said.

The parade will also be honoring first responders and others who stepped up to help with both emergency efforts and ongoing recovery work.

Parade-goers voiced frustration over an apparent under-reporting of the death toll in Puerto Rico and what they called a weak emergency response by President Trump's administration.

A recent study from Harvard University estimated there were up to 4,600 more deaths than usual in the three months after Hurricane Maria, although some independent experts questioned the methods and the number in that study.

Moments before taking his place in the annual Puerto Rico parade, Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged that the weak federal response to victims of Hurricane Maria is because of an inherit racism coming from the White House.

Some demonstrators chanted "Respect Puerto Rico" as the parade passed Trump Tower.

That help has continued and has, through the efforts of Paterson Partners with Puerto Rico, led to the donation of money and other supplies to help rebuild one of the many schools destroyed by the storm. "I'm just exhausted of the way my island has been treated".

"We've never been in this kind of situation before and we don't want to reach this point", she said.

"Puerto Ricans are American citizens, we especially need to be there for them in their time of need", Pou told TAPinto Paterson continuing to say that there are still 100,000 people without electricity and 55,000 living in temporary shelters. That led some sponsors to withdraw their support and some politicians like Cuomo to decline to take part. He and the group he was marching with planned to be in black T-shirts that reflect the Harvard study's estimate of the dead.

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