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Puerto Ricans grapple with food shortages after hurricane

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(25 Sep 2017) Long lines at supermarkets in a hard hit seaside town in Puerto Rico's north-eastern coast attest to the desperation of residents from the damages caused by Hurricane Maria.In Loiza, about 15 miles (24 kilometres) north of San Juan, residents are hoping to stock up on food and propane gas used for cooking. 25 year-old Kelly Cirino, a mother of three with another baby on the way, trekked with children two days in a row to the Medinia Supermarket, trying to buy water to cook and make milk for the youngsters.She says her electronic welfare card doesn't work because there is no electricity, and she has no cash, leaving her frustrated and despondent over how to resolve the impasse.Residents lined up at the Medinia Supermarket throughout the day Monday, buying propane gas for cooking and a few items allowed under imposed restrictions by the store manager, who is limiting purchases to ensure as many people as possible can be supplied by the store's diminishing stock.David Guzman, who manages the two Medinia Supermarkets in town, says he will continue to sell what he has until there is nothing left. But, he says, after that there is no telling when his markets might be resupplied since he has no communications with suppliers. Critical medicines in the market's pharmacy are also being rationed, and the pharmacist says she has enough supplies to last for about 5 more days for the most vulnerable patients, those with diabetes and other chronic conditions. After that, she says, she has no idea when the pharmacy might receive a new shipment. For the almost 30,000 people living in the town's shattered houses, simple survival will become increasingly difficult until critical food and medical supplies begin arriving, another challenge for the island's government as it grapples with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4117937 1003b2b9990e285b484207bb0048b42c Puerto Rico Food David Guzman Puerto Rico Caribbean Latin America and Caribbean General news
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