As Puerto Rico continues to reel in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry is seeking out Costa Rican citizens on the island in order to coordinate their evacuation, if necessary.
Because of the lack of electricity, Costa Rica has used radio communications facilitated by the government of Puerto Rico to reach out, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry. At the time of the statement’s release on Thursday, the ministry had identified 255 Costa Ricans in Puerto Rico.
Costa Ricans who are in Puerto Rico and have not yet been in touch with the ministry are asked to contact the Costa Rican Honorary Consulate in Puerto Rico, or the Consular Department in Costa Rica, with their basic information (names, identification numbers, contact information, physical location, and age); whether or not they have their passport or other identifying documents; contact information of family members or other primary contacts in Costa Rica; special needs, such as wheelchair use; and, in the cause of minors, whether they will travel alone. Please scroll down for full contact information.
Puerto Ricans have struggled to rebuild their lives over the past eight days in the aftermath of a storm that took down the power grid, crippled cell phone communications and wrecked water supplies. Hours-long lines have been the norm at gas stations as people scramble to find fuel for generators and cars.
Much of the capital, San Juan, is a landscape of ruin: buildings with all their windows shattered, traffic lights down, and trees that survived now without a single leaf. Some stores are open but they do not have much to sell.
Approximately 10,000 people are in shelters, according to emergency responders at FEMA, the U.S. disaster relief agency, and thousands more are clearing their homes of debris. Shortages of food and water have added to the misery and uncertainty amid a frustratingly slow relief effort, and U.S. President Donald Trump has been criticized for the delays in aid.
This story includes reporting by the AFP’s Andrew Beatty, with Leila Macor in San Juan.
Contacts for Costa Ricans in Puerto Rico, or their families and friends who wish to help them get in touch:
Consular Department in Costa Rica (from outside Costa Rica, dial + 506 and then the number): 2539-5515, 2539-5344, 2539-5358, 2539-5314
Cellular and WhatsApp: 8866-3655