Members of the Florida Congressional delegation join Congresswoman Gonzalez-Colon to visit areas affected by earthquakes

January 20, 2020
Press Release

San Juan, PR- Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón with Representatives Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Donna Shalala (D-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) visited areas on the south coast of the island that have been affected by the recent earthquakes to assess the damages and needs, and discuss resources for reconstruction.

As part of their visit, the representatives visited the Municipality of Yauco, where they participated in a meeting with the Mayor, Luis “Luigi” Torres, FEMA, USGS and the Puerto Rico Seismic Network to be briefed on the seismic events in the south of the Island, the damages caused and the pending recovery.

After Gov. Vazquez requested a major disaster declaration, these members joined Rep. Gonzalez- Colon in a letter urging the President’s authorization. The major disaser declartion was later approved on Thursday, January 16th. 

“I continue to mobilize my colleagues in Congress who are committed to the causes of Puerto Rico to visit the island so that they can see firsthand the damage caused by the earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks. Now we We can return to Washington and together advocate to expedite aid” stated Rep. Gonzalez.

Following their meeting, the congressional delegation visited the community of Alturas Del Cafetal to see the damages and talk to residents about the uncertainty after the tremors and their challenges.

“Now more than ever, the American citizens of Puerto Rico need to know that both parties in Congress have their back. Our bipartisan delegation witnessed the damages and spoke directly to island residents whose lives have been upended. I will use what we learned in Puerto Rico to ensure that Congress swiftly provides the island with the resources it needs and that aid reaches the people with full accountability and transparency” expressed, Rep. Murphy

Following Yauco, they visited Guánica alongside mayor, Santos Silk "Papichy" to learn about the needs in La Luna community.

They also met with the mayor of Guayanilla, Nelson Torres Yordán in a shelter at the Peggy Mercado stadium, where they talked with residents and volunteers.

“After touring the areas impacted by the recent earthquakes, it is clear to me that addressing the needs of the affected communities will require a long-term commitment. These earthquakes have not stopped and are continuing to disrupt the lives of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

“I would like to thank my colleagues Stephanie Murphy, Bill Posey, and especially Jenniffer González-Colón for participating in this bipartisan effort. We will return to Washington with a better understanding of how to best assist the people of Puerto Rico and make sure they get resources they need to recover and rebuild”, said Rep. Shalala

“City after city, neighborhood after neighborhood, so many people have been affected by the earthquake. You really have to see all the damage for yourself to understand the magnitude of the disaster. That’s the reason I’m here with my friend and colleague Jenniffer González”, said Rep. Posey.

In the next few days, Rep. Gonzalez Colon will continue to welcome members of Congress to the island and show them what Puerto Rico needs from the federal government to recover and rebuild.