Puerto Rico Emergency Director Fired After Unused Hurricane Maria Supplies Found

PONCE, PUERTO RICO (CNN) — Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced fired the island’s emergency manager, hours after a warehouse filled with supplies was discovered.

The emergency aid is believed to be from when Hurricane Maria hit the island two years ago, the governor said.

Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, was dismissed Saturday. The governor appointed Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, to replace him.

Earlier on Saturday, numerous pallets of water and other boxes with emergency supplies were found at a warehouse in the earthquake ravaged city of Ponce.

Several residents were seen opening the rolling metal doors of the building and calling for authorities to distribute the supplies. Families began lining up Saturday afternoon outside the warehouse, hoping to get bottled water, food and emergency radios, CNN affiliate WAPA reported.

Acevedo has denied allegations of mishandling, saying the agency has been actively distributing supplies, according to a statement released through the office of emergency management. No residents have been denied any supplies in the warehouse, including food, diapers, baby formula and cots, Acevedo said.

He said about 600 pallets of water were distributed when Hurricane Dorian and Hurricane Karen threatened Puerto Rico and during a drought that affected the island last year. Nearly 80 of those pallets remain in the warehouse because they expired, he said.

“There have not been orders to seize or destroy those items at any point,” Acevedo said in a statement.

Vázquez Garced has directed Secretary of State Elmer Roman to investigate the allegations and share his findings within 48 hours.

To read the full CNN article, click here.

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