Eight-year-old Yan Anthony Hernandez says he’s excited for President Trump to come to Puerto Rico on Tuesday to see for himself the damage from Hurricane Maria. And Yan has a message for President Trump: “Stop sending tweets,” he says, “and come help the people.”
Unlike those living in wooden houses, his cement home held up. But now, there’s no electricity or cellphone service, and his school is closed.
Yan’s older sister Lorainne Goytya, a 20-year-old college student studying biology, says it’s difficult not having a way to communicate with anyone. It took her eight days to find a rotary phone to call her father in Massachusetts.
“My dad told me that the images they were showing in the news out there, they were shocking, devastating, you think no one is alive,” Lorainne says.
Their older brother, who is in the Army and based in Texas, had posted a photo of her saying she was missing. So when she finally got to speak to her father, “He was crying.”
Meanwhile, she’s working the overnight shift in a shelter at the local Boys & Girls Club, where her mother and stepfather are volunteering too. Yan says they feel safer sleeping there than staying home alone at night in the dark.
Lorainne says 10 people almost died when the diesel generator at the shelter ran out of gas temporarily.
“They were hooked up to oxygen or dialysis machines, and they almost didn’t make it.”