After Hurricane Maria, 95 percent of Puerto Rico still without power

Two weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall, only 5.4 percent of citizens on the island have electricity, while 12.1 percent have cell service, the Department of Defense said on Wednesday.

A press release, detailing the department's latest hurricane relief efforts, acknowledged that "communications remain a challenge" on the island but that the department is delivering AT&T mobile cell towers.

The Department of Defense is also focused on distributing food and supplies, producing and distributing clean water, delivering generator fuel to hospitals, clearing roadways, and mitigating spillway from the Guajetaca Dam, the release said.

As of Wednesday, only 14 of Puerto Rico's hospitals had electricity, while 51 were "degraded" and in need of generators for power.

To relieve the stress on hospitals, the USNS Comfort, a floating U.S. Navy hospital ship, arrived in San Juan on Tuesday. It's expected to move offshore between Ceiba and Ponce on the south side of the island on Thursday, Navy officials told ABC News.

The Comfort is capable of tending to 200 people every day with 800 medical personnel and civilian support staff on board.

While power and communications continue to pose challenges, the island has made progress with all 10 airports and nine ports operating. About 65 percent of supermarkets and 156 banks are open for business, while more than 750 of 1,100 retail gas stations are also open, the release said.

President Donald Trump, who visited the island with first lady Melania Trump Tuesday, has praised the federal response to the major hurricane, despite pleas from the mayor of San Juan that her city needs additional assistance.

On Friday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz responded in tears to an assertion made by the acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke that the hurricane response was "a good news story."

"This is a 'people are dying' story," she told CNN.

On Tuesday, the governor of Puerto Rico updated the island's death toll to 34.

© 2017 ABC News


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