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Puerto Rico governor fires emergency management director

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired the director of the island’s emergency management agency Saturday after the discovery of a warehouse filled with water, cots and other supplies as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from a strong earthquake.

Vázquez said the inaction of Carlos Acevedo was unacceptable.

“There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to help those in the south, and it is unforgivable that resources were kept in the warehouse,” the governor said.

A chihuahua dog sleeps on a cot in a tent city for hundreds of people displaced by earthquakes in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. A 6.4 magnitude quake that toppled or damaged hundreds of homes in southwestern Puerto Rico is raising concerns about where displaced families will live, while the island still struggles to rebuild from Hurricane Maria two years ago. (AP PhotoCarlos Giusti)

Vázquez said she ordered an investigation, noting that the goods had sat unused since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.

A group of angry citizens broke into the warehouse in the southern coastal city of Ponce before the governor made the announcement.

Ponce is one of several cities in the island’s southern region hit by the recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed one person and caused more than an estimated $200 million in damage. More than 7,000 people remain in shelters since the quake.

A tent city set up by the US army reserve stands in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. A 6.4 magnitude quake that toppled or damaged hundreds of homes in southwestern Puerto Rico is raising concerns about where displaced families will live, while the island still struggles to rebuild from Hurricane Maria two years ago. (AP PhotoCarlos Giusti)

Vázquez said she has sent the Senate her nomination of José Reyes, who oversees the National Guard in Puerto Rico, as the new commissioner for the State Bureau for Emergency Management and Disaster Management.