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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is sending emergency responders to Puerto Rico and is encouraging other city workers to volunteer with island recovery efforts.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Puerto Rico born New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito discussed the Hurricane Maria efforts on Thursday.

City workers will have to take vacation days or unpaid leave. But de Blasio says the city is trying to get them free transportation and places to stay.

The city also is helping with fundraising .

Nine New York City police and firefighters stayed in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma. Another 27 responders will fly there when conditions allow. Emergency management personnel also will be deployed.

An emotional Mark-Viverito says her family is safe but other City Council members still haven’t heard from their loved ones.