In Puerto Rico, where the power is still out on much of the island, and water and resources are scarce, people are waiting in lines that extend around city blocks and down highways — just to get a few gallons of gas.
“Because there is no power, there is a good chance that a good portion of the population has no water,” Manuel Lluberas, who lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico told VICE News by phone from a hotel in San Juan. “I don’t have any water in my house.”
In fact, the Department of Defense said Tuesday, 44 percent of Puerto Ricans lack potable drinking water. But to operate the water pumping stations, first Puerto Ricans need fuel, and fuel is scarce.
“Water pumping stations are running out of fuel,” Lluberas said. “Right now, I have been in fuel lines for 20-some hours, for just 20 gallons of fuel.”
Though some gas stations remained closed for days after the storm hit, desperate residents lined up outside with gas cans anyway.
Making matters worse, gas requires cash, but ATMs were knocked out in the power outage too, leading to lines outside banks wrapped around the blocks.
And even with gas, drinking water is still hard to find. Many of the emergency resources shipped to Puerto Rico haven’t made it out of the ports to where they need to be, and water trucks are scarce.
Worse, with its infrastructure in shambles and resources scarce, the line for relief isn’t getting any shorter.
Christina Sterbenz contributed to this report.