SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired the heads of Puerto Rico’s housing and family departments Sunday in the latest fallout over the discovery of a warehouse filled with emergency supplies dating from Hurricane Maria.
The removal of Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar came a day after the governor fired the director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency. Vázquez fired him hours after a Facebook video showed angry people breaking into the warehouse in an area where thousands have been homeless since a recent earthquake.
"There have been actions by government officials that have been completely unacceptable," the governor said Sunday.
Vázquez said she decided on the additional firings after meeting with leaders of her administration Sunday morning and officials were unable to provide information she requested about other collection and distribution centres.
"They weren’t able to personally tell me specifically where these centres were located, what they contained and whether an inventory was completed," she said.
Anger erupted in Puerto Rico on Saturday after an online blogger posted a live video of the warehouse in the southern coastal city of Ponce filled with water bottles, cots, baby food and other basic supplies that had apparently been sitting there since Hurricane Maria battered the U.S. territory in September 2017.
Ponce Mayor María Meléndez said she was outraged, noting that she and other mayors were trying to find basic supplies after the recent 6.4 magnitude quake that killed one person and caused damage across Puerto Rico’s southern region. More than 7,000 people remain in shelters as strong aftershocks continue.