The island was ill-prepared for a disaster of this magnitude.
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Prior to 2006, Puerto Rico’s economy was held together by United States business interests. But when that tax break expired, the island’s economic recession became a depression. Because Puerto Ricans are US citizens, they are allowed to travel freely between the territory and the mainland. Because of the high cost of living on the island and opportunity for higher pay on the mainland, many leave.
Mismanagement of public utilities combined with a dwindling tax base has left the island with dated infrastructure, and concerning prospects for post-hurricane recovery.
You can read more of Vox’s coverage on the hurricane relief effort in Puerto Rico here: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/26/16365994/hurricane-maria-2017-puerto-rico-san-juan-humanitarian-disaster-electricty-fuel-flights-facts
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