Trump lashes out at San Juan mayor over hurricane recovery efforts

US President Donald Trump Credit: PA

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at the mayor of Puerto Rico's capital city in a war of words over recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria smashed into the US territory.

Mr Trump sent a series of tweets criticising San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz after she pleaded for more help to aid her city's recovery.

The mayor has accused his administration of "killing us with the inefficiency".

Ms Cruz told the media on Friday to "make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives".

"We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency," Ms Cruz said.

"I am begging, begging anyone that can hear us, to save us from dying."

Mr Trump, from his golf club in New Jersey, took to Twitter to accuse Ms Cruz of partisan politics.

Mr Trump said "they want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job."

He said the hurricane "totally destroyed" Puerto Rico and that "the military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job".

Mr Trump also tweeted the mayor was "very complimentary only a few days ago" but "has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump".

Thousands more Puerto Ricans have received water and rationed food as an aid bottleneck has begun to ease.

By now, telecommunications are back for about 30% of the island, nearly half of the supermarkets have reopened at least for reduced hours and about 60% of the gas stations are pumping.

A young boy waits for water in Utuado, Puerto Rico. Credit: PA

But many remain desperate for necessities, most urgently water and medical supplies, long after the September 20 hurricane that left 16 people on the island dead.

Mr Trump and his wife Melania are expected to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday to survey the damage.