Puerto Rico Hurricane Donations Found Rotting in Parking Lot

Several trailers of donations for Puerto Rico residents dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria have reportedly been found unused and rotting outside a state elections office nearly a year after the storm created a humanitarian disaster on the island. Local radio station Radio Isla first reported on the wasted aid earlier this week with a video showing at least 10 trailers with food, water, and baby supplies covered in rat droppings. According to The New York Times, which viewed the trailers and reported on them Friday, the goods were found at a site that was used as a collection point for humanitarian aid donations. Maj. Paul Dahlen, a spokesman for the National Guard, was unable to explain why the donations were left to rot after the National Guard ended its operations in the area in May, according to the Times. “I agree, it should have been handed out as soon as possible,” he was quoted as saying. While the National Guard said some of the food products were not distributed because they were spoiled, footage also showed cases of water, which residents had been in desperate need of after the storm. The discovery comes as Puerto Rican authorities admitted that the actual death toll of Hurricane Maria was 1,427, more than 20 times the figure of 64 initially provided.