NPR

Irma Portends New Woes For Debt-Stricken Puerto Rico

The U.S. territory filed to restructure billions in debt earlier this year. Those economic straits threaten to hobble the island's ability to cope with the effects of the Category 5 hurricane.
Seawater rises with the approach of Hurricane Irma, which threatened to overwhelm a jetty in Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The U.S. territory of some 3.4 million people has struggled to pay its debts ? even filing earlier this year for a procedure similar to bankruptcy, and a natural catastrophe could compound that fiscal pain. / RICARDO ARDUENGO / Getty Images

By all accounts, Hurricane Irma is a behemoth, a "potentially catastrophic" storm bearing 185-mph winds and the threat of devastation for the islands caught in its northwesterly course toward Florida. That threat packed an added wallop Wednesday for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory already reeling from billions in debt.

Between public-sector bills and pension fund obligations, Puerto Rico owes. The debt is a behemoth in its own right, so unmanageable the territory had to file for a crafted specifically for it by Congress.

Estás leyendo una vista previa, regístrate para leer más.

Más de NPR

NPR4 min. leídosPolitics
Hard-Line Brexiteer Boris Johnson To Become Britain's New Prime Minister
Johnson will inherit a slate of problems from Theresa May, including a small majority in Parliament, government resignations and escalations with Iran. And then there's Brexit.
NPR5 min. leídos
Productivity, Retention And Cost Savings: Why Working From Home Benefits Employees And Employers
One way to reduce traffic and the number of hours workers spend commuting is to have more people work from home more often.
NPR1 min. leídosSociety
North Carolina Reaches Settlement In Long Battle Over Bathrooms And Gender Identity
The deal, approved by a federal judge on Tuesday, enshrines the right of transgender individuals to use bathrooms that match their gender identities in many North Carolina public buildings.