SAN JUAN – US President Donald Trump will visit Puerto Rico to view the damage Hurricane Irma caused when it skirted the island last week, the US commonwealth’s governor said Thursday on Twitter.
Ricardo Rossello’s tweet said Trump also would witness recovery efforts on the Caribbean island.
“We’ve just received confirmation that @realDonaldTrump will visit PR to view the impact of #Irma and the recovery work,” the tweet said, without indicating when the visit would occur.
The governor traveled Wednesday to Washington to take part in meetings of the Front for Puerto Rico (a group encompassing diverse sectors that is tasked with lobbying the US Congress on issues including health-care funding parity) and to inform lawmakers and the White House about post-Irma recovery efforts.
Rossello said Thursday in Washington that Irma caused around $1 billion in damage when the eye of the Category 5 hurricane passed just to the north of the island on Wednesday night.
That’s nearly double the initial estimate of $600 million to repair damage that particularly affected the island’s electrical grid, water distribution system and roads.
Rossello said 10 percent of Puerto Rico’s population was still without electricity.
Separately, an initial group of 500 people arrived Thursday via cruise ship at the Port of San Juan from the island of St. Thomas, part of the hurricane-battered US Virgin Islands.
The group, part of a larger contingent of around 4,000 people that Puerto Rico’s government said would arrive between Thursday and Friday, was traveling aboard the Majesty of the Seas cruise ship and consisted mainly of tourists and US residents of St. Thomas.
These individuals will either be housed in hotels (if they have the money to do so) or in a shelter set up at the Puerto Rico Convention Center.
They are in addition to a group of 1,694 people who have been relocated to Puerto Rico from St. Thomas and St. Martin (which is jointly administered by France and the Netherlands) since Saturday in planes provided by the National Guard of the US.