Puerto Rico concedes Hurricane Maria deaths more than 1,400

11 Août, 2018, 06:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Puerto Rico 1,400 died from hurricane but toll still at 64

The category five storm blasted the island, knocking out power, destroying homes, erasing roads, and cutting off food and water supplies.

In another section of the report - "Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation" - it revealed: "According to initial reports, 64 lives were lost".

For the first time since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico almost 11 months ago, the USA territory's government has conceded that the monster storm was responsible for hundreds of deaths on the island. "It has been tragically clear for some time that the devastation from Irma and Maria was many magnitudes worse than the official death toll suggested", she said.

The government was widely criticized for undercounting the number of people who died on the island as the power outage stretched for months, causing deaths from diabetes and sepsis to soar. The figure was also included in a report, dated July 9, which was recently published online, according to The New York Times, which was first to report that officials had acknowledged the new estimate.

The deaths were reportedly more likely due to a lack of medical care and other resources in the aftermath rather than from the initial impact of the storm itself.

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In a report to the US Congress detailing a £139bn reconstruction plan, the Puerto Rico government estimated there were 1,427 more deaths between September and December last year than the average for the same time period in previous years.

In May, a Harvard University study estimated that Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 in Puerto Rico. The official number will come, and it could be close.

"We always anticipated that this number would increase as more official studies were conducted", Mr Pesquera said.

The territory's government said the additional deaths resulted from the effects of a storm that led to "cascading failures" in infrastructure across the island of 3.3 million people. "The estimate provided was done using data from the Demographic Registry which was made available to the members of the media". But it said it would wait to update its official tally until receiving a report it commissioned from George Washington University.

The figure was included in a draft report to Congress that outlined the government's reconstruction plan for the United States territory. The government has asked for $6 billion for fix and replacement of public buildings and $3.9 billion for environmental use, according to an announcement from the governor's office.

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