Businesses in Puerto Rico have been impacted by the island’s struggle to restore power following Hurricane Fiona.
Due to the situation, an increasing number of supermarkets and petrol stations have shut down. In the end, the condition has raised concerns about the scarcity of food and gasoline.
Since there was a great demand for purchasing food and other things when the hurricane hit the country, many customers complained when store owners put up signs of temporary closures.
In addition, nearly a million customers in Puerto Rico are now without electricity.
When Betty Merced, a resident of Salinas City, needed to refuel her generator with diesel, she said it was challenging to find an open gas station. She was unable to locate a retailer that sold it, though.
“There are a lot of people with a lot of needs. If there is no diesel, we’re going to be very much in harm’s way,” Merced said.
She claims that despite searching the entire city for diesel, she had no luck. She will thus travel to other towns like Santa Isabel in search of supplies. If unsuccessful, she would continue to other northern cities in search of a shop selling fuel to customers.
“I didn’t think we were going to be so many days without power,” added Merced.
Salinas residents were forced to scramble to locate supplies as petrol outlets closed. Thousands of people are vying for the supply, including Wanda Rios Colorado, a prominent community member.
Wanda described her experience with Hurricane Marios in 2017 and compared the current state of affairs, adding that everyone is having trouble getting enough fuel and food.
Additionally, it is now difficult to find pharmacies throughout the nation were open to customers. As a result, people who require medicine have grown increasingly apprehensive as a result of this.
No shortage of fuels, says the government
Although many residents spoke out about their struggles, the Puerto Rican administration disputes this.
According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, there is no gasoline supply. Instead, the current situation is just a system disturbance brought on by flooding, landslides, and the statewide blackout.
Officials added that the power outage prevented numerous gas stations from reopening around the country. Additionally, Edan Rivera, the secretary of consumer affairs, asserted that there was no justification for declaring a fuel scarcity in Puerto Rico.
“There’s a peak in demand in the most affected areas, but it has been normalizing as trucks arrive,” he added.
“Some will say they have received less product, but it’s not that they’re getting less. They asked for a lot, and to err on the side of caution; they’re not being given everything they ask for.”
In addition, Rivera mentioned that a container ship was transporting about 300,000 barrels of fuel. It ought to allay many people’s worries about getting fuel for their generators and other uses.
Photo Credit: Andres Kudacki | TIME