Puerto Rico drains half of emergency funds as it awaits White House response on disaster designation

Wanda Vázquez Garced.
(Image credit: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images)

Puerto Rico hasn't heard back from the White House, so officials are taking matters into their own hands.

After the U.S. territory was hit with yet another significant earthquake on Wednesday, rattling the island even further as residents scramble to recover from a series of tremors up to 6.4 magnitude in recent weeks, Puerto Rican Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced requested the White House declared a major disaster. President Trump did approve some federal emergency funding for the island, but declaring a "major disaster" — rather than an "emergency" — would authorize further federal funding. The request for the new designation came on Jan. 11, but officials still haven't gotten a response, despite pleading letters both from Florida congressmembers and more than two dozen Democratic senators, reports CBS News' David Begnaud.

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