Six days after the biggest earthquake in a century, Puerto Rico continues to wait for President Donald J. Trump to issue an order to the Pentagon, according to a military commander.
This situation prevents the U.S. Army Reserve from installing portable laundry systems and hot water showers, sparking fears of a disease outbreak in any of the seven municipalities affected by the successive quakes.
Lt. Col. Carlos Cuebas, spokesman for the U.S. Army Reserve in Puerto Rico, said they are ready to assist in the emergency, but have not yet done so because, unlike the National Guard, this force does not respond to the Puerto Rican government, but rather its chain of command goes all the way to the Pentagon.
The Army Reserve is ready to assist the thousands of victims of the earthquakes by installing portable laundry systems and hot water showers, the military man told Primera Hora newspaper.
Cuebas explained that to activate the Army Reserve, the island’s government must determine the emergency and then make a request to the federal government, a process that he understands was fulfilled, since the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is active in this case.
The request is sent to the Northern Command which, in coordination with the Pentagon, gives the go-ahead to execute the mission, in this case through the 430th Logistical Support Unit which is in charge of installing and managing the systems.
The officer revealed to the newspaper that these units are already deployed in Puerto Rico.