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article imageWarehouse in Puerto Rico found full of supplies from 2017

By Karen Graham     Jan 19, 2020 in World
San Juan - A warehouse was discovered in southern Puerto Rico, filled with water, cots, and other unused emergency supplies from 2017, setting off an uproar resulting in the firing of the territory's emergency management director, Carlos Acevedo.
A video published on Facebook Saturday showed a warehouse in the southern Puerto Rico city of Ponce filled with supplies, including thousands of cases of water, believed to have been from when Hurricane Maria struck the island in 2017, according to the Associated Press.
The hurricane left 2,975 people dead and caused major problems in Puerto Rico for months, including power outages and shortages of food, water, and medicine.
The discovery set off a social media uproar when the video showing people breaking into the facility to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake. Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez immediately ordered an investigation and fired Carlos Acevedo, describing his inaction as "unacceptable."
"There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to bring help to the south, and it is unforgivable that resources have been kept in a warehouse," Vazquez said in a statement, per ABC News.
The governor gave officials 48 hours to investigate why the supplies were never given to those who needed them. She also nominated the head of the Puerto Rican National Guard, Brig. Gen. Victor S. Perez, to head up the Office of Emergency Management after Carlos Acevedo's dismissal.
The person responsible for the video posted to Facebook is online blogger Lorenzo Delgado. He later told reporters he had received a tip about the warehouse but gave no specifics on when that occurred.
The mayor of Ponce, María Meléndez, said she had not known about the warehouse and its contents. “This is outrageous,” she said, reports NBC News. “Everyone knows what us mayors went through after Hurricane Maria to try and get help to our cities and how we’ve worked these weeks to provide basic supplies to people affected by earthquakes. Those involved owe us an explanation.”
According to Ponce city spokeswoman Inez Rivera, the warehouse is owned by The Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company. It is a government-owned corporation of Puerto Rico that establishes the island's public policy for the development of its trade industry. Officials with the company could not be reached.
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