Some schools to reopen in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria

Education officials say classes will on Tuesday begin in regions on opposite ends of the island, in San Juan and Mayaguez.

A view of a destroyed roof of a school in the Rio Piedras area, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 21 September 2017 after the area was pummelled by Hurricane Maria which devastated the island and knocked out the entire electricity grid. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Some public schools in Puerto Rico are set to resume academic activity on Friday after Hurricane Maria swept across the US territory.

Education officials say classes will on Tuesday begin in regions on opposite ends of the island, in San Juan and Mayaguez.

Roughly three million Puerto Ricans, or more than 80% of the island's residents, have no power.

About a third of households are also without reliable drinking water.

Forty-nine people have died in Puerto Rico officially, with dozens more missing.

The hurricane did extensive damage to the island’s power grid, destroying homes, roads and other vital infrastructure.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello has asked the White House and Congress for at least $4.6 billion in block grants and other types of funding.

Senator Marco Rubio called on Congress to modify an $18.7 billion aid package for areas damaged by a recent swath of hurricanes to ensure that Puerto Rico can quickly access the funds.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)