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happening in puerto rico

In Puerto Rico, 44 percent of residents still don't have drinkable water

One week after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, about 44 percent of the population remains without drinking water, the Defense Department said Wednesday.

There are 3.4 million people living in the U.S. territory, and residents are concerned that the water supply is being contaminated by garbage, which could lead to a health crisis. There are also fears that if this happens, the hospitals won't be able to accept new patients, since they are without power and barely have enough fuel to power generators. Residents say garbage is floating in the water that still floods the streets, and some of the homes that do have running water don't have power and can't safely boil the water.

"This paradise has turned into hell lately in the last couple of days," Dr. Gregorio Cortés told NBC News in a phone interview. "Pharmacies and supermarkets are starting to close because they don't have enough diesel supply to keep running so people are having less and less opportunity to find drinking water and food or supplies." He also said that when word gets out that a certain store has water, there's a run on it, and people who show up late don't get anything. Cortés has running water, and said he boils it then filters it for safety, but some homes that don't have power can't boil their water. Worrying about potable water is "everyday life for us now," he said.