At least 35 lakh people in storm-battered Puerto Rico are still without electricity, six days since Hurricane Maria struck with ferocious winds and torrential rains – the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States territory for nearly a century, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Eighty percent of power lines in Puerto Rico are down, the island’s electricity utility Prepa said. Around 55% of the island’s transmission towers were destroyed, according to industry group the American Public Power Association.

Most parts of the island have no water or cell phone coverage, The Guardian reported. Around 1,360 of 1,600 mobile towers are non-functional. It could be four to six months before power is restored entirely on the island, according to The New York Times.

The lack of power has left most food stores and restaurants closed. The shops that were open on Monday had long queues outside. Drinking water was not available, ABC News reported.

Hurricane Maria was the second major storm to hit Puerto Rico in about a month. Governor Ricardo Rosselló had said Maria was the “most devastating storm to hit the island this century, if not in modern history”.

Trump reacts

US President Donald Trump’s first statements on the disaster came five days after the island was devastated by the hurricane. On Monday, he said Puerto Rico was in “deep trouble”, and that its billions of dollars of debt to Wall Street and banks “must be dealt with”.

“Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure and massive debt, is in deep trouble,” Trump wrote in a series of posts on Twitter.

“Its old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

Trump did not offer a way to deal with Puerto Rico’s debt.