Puerto Rico revises death toll from Hurricane Maria
Officials now estimate that more than 1,400 died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria; Phil Keating reports.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico is the estimate in a report to Congress that the Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people, although an island official said Thursday that the confirmed toll remains frozen at 64 pending a scientific review due out soon.
The government, relying on updated statistics, first reported in June, said in a report to Congress, in which a number of $139 billion reconstruction plan that there are 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 than the average for the same period during the previous four years.
The territory of the government said that the extra mortality due to the effects of a storm, which led to a “cascading failures in the infrastructure on the island of 3.3 million people.
The administration of Gov. Ricardo Rossello stopped updating her official death toll of months ago and ordered an investigation amid reports that the number was significantly undercounted. The public Safety Department Secretary Hector Pesquera said the new total is taken into account the findings of the investigation, which is expected in the coming weeks.
The figure of more than 1,400, Pesquera said: “it is simple mathematics” on the basis of the number of the number of deaths. “This is not the official number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria,” he said.
In this June 1, 2018 file photo, a child sheds light on hundreds of shoes at a memorial for those killed by Hurricane Maria, in front of the Puerto Rico Capitol in San Juan.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Hurricane Maria, which came just two weeks after the Hurricane Irma passed near enough to cause damage to the island, knocked out power and water on Puerto Rico and caused large floods that many sick and elderly people would not be able to get medical treatment.
“The hurricanes’ devastating effects on people’s health and safety cannot be overestimated,” the government said in the report seeking the help of Congress to help in the reconstruction of an island that was already struggling from a deep economic crisis at the time of the storm.
In the weeks after the storm, Puerto Rican officials said that the storm was directly caused 64 deaths, many in the landslides or floods. But they have also said that more people probably died as a result of indirect effects of the powerful storm. “We have always expected that this number would increase as more official studies were carried out,” Pesquera said.
The government has an independent epidemiological study of the George Washington University and the Milken Institute of Public Health, which is due in the coming weeks.
The use of the higher mortality rate in the report to Congress for the first time was on Thursday reported by The New York Times.
Puerto Rico is the estimate in a report to Congress, in which a number of $139 billion reconstruction plan that the Hurricane Maria led to 1,427 more deaths. (Reuters)
Most of the deaths occurred, not in the first storm on Sept. 20, but in the subsequent days and weeks, when the island-wide electricity outage and roads blocked by downed power lines and debris made it difficult to move and the emergency services were stretched beyond the limits of their capabilities.
Government agencies have used various methods to count storm deaths in the course of the years, with the authorities generally try to sort them into direct and indirect to people of whom the dead are bound to a natural disaster without the necessity is, of course, caused by the.
New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who was born in Puerto Rico, has called for legislation that would establish federal standards for the death counts after the disaster. “It is tragically clear that the destruction of Irma and Maria was many magnitudes worse than the official death toll is proposed,” she said.