Puerto Rico just quietly conceded that Hurricane Maria killed over 1,300 more people than it originally estimated
Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year, and not just the 64 in a previous official death toll.
That quiet acknowledgement came in a report submitted to Congress requesting $139 billion in federal aid to rebuild the country's infrastructure.
- Most of the deaths are attributed to lack of medical care caused by devastating power outages and inaccessible roads.
Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year and not just the 64 in the official death toll.
The government acknowledged the higher death toll with no fanfare in a report submitted to Congress this week in which it detailed a $139 billion reconstruction plan for the island.
That quiet acknowledgement was first reported Thursday by The New York Times.Puerto Rican officials have admitted that more than 64 people likely died from the powerful storm that knocked out the power grid and caused widespread flooding that made many roads impassable.
But a more exact number has been a matter of debate that the government has sought to end by commissioning an academic study from George Washington University due out in coming weeks.
A spokesman for Puerto Rico's federal affairs administration told the Times that while the number in the government was a "realistic estimate," his agency was waiting on the results of the George Washington study to announce an official death toll number.
The majority of deaths associated with Hurricane Maria are attributed to lack of medical care caused by widespread power outages, especially affecting those who relied on certain machines to stay alive. The after-affects of the hurricane were also linked to spikes in Puerto Rico's suicide and murder rates.
Puerto Rico's devastating electric grid outage caused by Maria was the largest power blackout in US history and the second-largest in the world.