The President of the College of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico, engineer Faustino Gonzalez Quiles, spoke about how to restart plans to rebuild the country after the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona.
His comments related to the fact that much remains to be done at the infrastructure level after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria five years ago, exacerbated by the recent atmospheric event that affected the island.
“This is a process that will take a long time, especially in the southwestern part, and plans must be consistent and correspond to the reality of what we are seeing. On the other hand, the labor force in Puerto Rico is serious, there are no people to carry out projects. Many workers left the island because of Maria, and they need to be paid a lot of money to return,” he said.
The President made his remarks during a discussion of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure in connection with the passage of Hurricane Fiona, which took place on the school grounds in Hato Rey.
Hanna Rodriguez, an engineer from the CIAPR Disaster Commission, echoed the same sentiment, emphasizing that citizens should build their family plans and stop informal building to mitigate risk situations that will continue to arise due to climate change.
“We have to admit that it’s a lot of ‘song’ together, so we have to have our own plans, adjust and not depend on seconds. High-risk areas for construction should not be approached, and waste and debris should be properly disposed of. Each family has its own responsibility and it is necessary to identify community leaders to warn of these infrastructure problems, because although many families have been affected, other communities have been able to feed themselves,” the engineer explained.
CIAPR will provide new recommendations to the government of Puerto Rico on the changes needed to avoid building in flood zones and reduce damage to existing structures.