Puerto Rico Members Providing Post-Quake Community Support
Capt. Elías Román
Public Affairs Officer
Puerto Rico Wing
Puerto Rico Wing members have been assisting local agencies in refugee shelters and supply Points of Distribution (PODs) following series of earthquakes that began off the island’s southern coast in late December.
The work began Jan. 13 after the Yauco municipality’s Emergency Management Office requested Civil Air Patrol support for disaster relief efforts.
Members from six squadrons in affected areas – the Capt. Lawrence E. Erickson Senior Squadron in Guayanilla, the Ponce High School and Guanica High School cadet squadrons, the Maj. William Biaggi Cadet Squadron in Yauco), the Capt. P.F. Giusti Piazza Cadet Squadron in Peñuelas and the Sabana Grande Cadet Squadron – and Group 2 staff have been working hand-in-hand with local agencies providing clothes, food, and supplies to refugees living in temporary shelters.
Thousands of people remain in shelters or are living in unofficial tent communities out of fear their homes will collapse as seismic activity continues.
From 20-40 cadets and senior members a day have reported to various PODs to assist with sorting and distributing the relief items. With most schools closed because of the disaster, the cadets are keeping busy and serving their communities.
Additional units from around the island stepped up to assist, relieving local personnel from the daily workload and ensuring everyone could contribute safely.
The staging area is located at Raul “Pipote” Oliveras Coliseum in Yauco, where ground sorties are dispatched daily. So far, 117 such sorties have been completed.