• Families from Puerto Rico reunite as disaster relief center opens at OIA

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - A disaster relief center opened at the Orlando International Airport Tuesday to help people arriving from Puerto Rico who were displaced by Hurricane Maria.          

    Family members were at OIA to greet loved ones arriving from Puerto Rico.

    "Weeks and weeks of trying on the phone and not being able to connect and sending cousins to make sure they were OK. They're 82 and 83 (years old)," said Orlando resident Anicete Aguayo.

    Officials said they wanted to provide all the services under one roof.

    "We’re trying to look for a way to survive this disaster because it’s really hard," said Yara Ramos, who arrived from Puerto Rico.

    Ramos said her home survived the hurricane, but without power and water, and long lines for gas, she decided to relocate to Orlando.

    Like many evacuees, Ramos sought help at the center to find a job and to enroll her children in school.

    Related: Employment initiative in place for Puerto Rico, Caribbean islands evacuees

    "It gives us comfort that we have somewhere to go and have the information that we need to get going and do what we have to do," Ramos said.

    The relief centers will be set up at airports across Florida.

    Officials said the relief center staffing will be scheduled around flights arriving from Puerto Rico, and that the center will remain at OIA as long as people need it.

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