Puerto Rican government capacity 'severely diminished:' U.S. official

A man carrying a water container walks next to damaged houses after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, September 26, 2017. Picture taken on September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The capacity of the Puerto Rican government is “severely diminished” as the island tries to recover from Hurricane Maria, acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke told Congress on Wednesday.

The U.S. federal government is helping to re-establish supply distribution chains across the island and providing for communications technology including satellite phones, Duke told senators at a hearing on threats to homeland security.

Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati and Dustin Volz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama