San Juan mayor talks hurricane impact to NYC students

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NEW YORK -

San Juan, Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz spoke to students at Brooklyn College Thursday afternoon about the future of the island following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

The auditorium at Brooklyn College was packed, and people were on the edge of their seats as Cruz discussed the destruction that's still a reality in Puerto Rico, as well as the need to rise above it.

Cruz walked around the auditorium, at times choked up, taking questions from the audience and even hugging some of them in her frank, intimate talk.

Nearly two months after the storm, Cruz says the people of Puerto Rico are struggling to survive and that many hospitals are still running on generators.

Cruz called the Trump administration's handling of the crisis shameful and embarrassing. She says most help has come not from government assistance, but individual people, foundations and nonprofits. For now, she says it's about looking ahead.

"It's about a humanitarian crisis and how we can learn from it and how we can transform the reality of Puerto Rico to be a more equitable and a more just place," she says.

Cruz went on to say that it's not enough for Puerto Rico to rebuild -- they have to transform.

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