Puerto Rico has been struggling with a wave of extreme weather and widespread power outages that has prompted officials to cancel thousands of jobs and shut down more than 90 percent of the island’s government-run power grid.
On Monday, the state government announced that it would be closing down the entire island, including Puerto Rico’s major cities.
The island’s mayor, Ricardo Rossello, also announced that Puerto Rico will stop paying its debt to the US Treasury.
This news came as a shock to Puerto Rico Gov.
Alejandro Garcia Padilla who said that he had “no plans to stop working to maintain our nation’s infrastructure.”
Puerto Rico, which was the poorest of the Caribbean nations in the wake of the hurricane, has been on the brink of bankruptcy for years.
The US government has imposed a series of austerity measures, including cutting $60 billion from its debt, closing nearly two dozen ports and closing some of its remaining schools.