Without air conditioning and with limited food and water, passengers at the San Juan’s Marín Muñoz International Airport have been sleeping on dirty floors and sweating without air conditioning as they wait to board planes leaving the island, which was left completely without power after the devastating hurricane.
Airlines, including Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, recently began flights to the U.S., resulting in long lines and waits for seats, according to USA Today. Starting on Saturday, the airport started allowing 10 commercial flights to the U.S. to leave each day.
A number of airline operators, including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and others, told Buzzfeed News they had one flight on Sunday arrive at the airport with supplies and leave the airport with passengers.
Throughout hurricane season, some airlines have been accused of price gouging amid immense demand for flights. In response to one accusation of charging more for flights leaving Puerto Rico, American Airlines said it has capped fares for its main cabin for flights leaving Puerto Rico at $99 until Oct. 8.
The devastating affects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico span far beyond the confines of the island’s largest airport. Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans have seen extensive damage to the island, which was already facing an economic crisis. In the days following the hurricane with no power on the island, thousands of Puerto Ricans have been searching for ways to find phone service or Wi-Fi to get in contact with loved ones.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said he would need more help from the federal government to help recovery efforts. “We still need some more help. This is clearly a critical disaster in Puerto Rico,” he told the Washington Post. “It can’t be minimized and we can’t start overlooking us now that the storm passed, because the danger lurks.”