CAMDEN, NJ — Camden Mayor Frank Moran put it simply: “It is all about helping those in need.”

His words come just days after Puerto Rico was struck by a 5.0-magnitude earthquake — one of many instances of seismic activity that have struck the island since the end of 2019 and have only compounded an area dealing with 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Moran was joined by Camden city, county, as well as state officials Tuesday to call attention to the humanitarian crisis on the ground there.

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“As a Camden resident of Puerto Rican heritage, I am compelled to take action.  The impact is felt not only on the island but right here in Camden as many of our residents have family ties to Puerto Rico,” added Moran. “It is heart-wrenching to see friends and family suffer as a result of inability to access critical funding.”

Some of those in attendance recently joined Sen. Bob Menendez in calling for additional hearings on the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “failure to disburse congressionally appropriated aid for Puerto Rico.”

Governor Phil Murphy authorized the New Jersey State Troopers to be deployed to Puerto Rico earlier in the month to assist with recovery efforts as well.

“The people of Puerto Rico are facing a dire situation in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquakes,” Congressman Donald Norcross said regarding the need for federal funding. “Our fellow Americans need our help, and New Jersey is stepping up. I urge the Trump Administration to do the same by releasing all the funds appropriated by Congress in 2018 for disaster relief in Puerto Rico. We must provide immediate assistance, so the recovery process can begin, and a pathway to a vibrant future can be paved.”

Camden County Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez said that, according to recent estimates, 4,000 U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are living in a temporary shelter due to unsafe conditions. 

“Many families in our community have relatives on the island, and many were still recovering from Hurricane Maria before these recent disasters. Our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico need our support now more than ever,” said Rodriguez.

Anyone interested in supporting relief efforts can donate to the non-profit, New Jersey for Puerto Rico Relief.

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