Puerto Rican government owns up to Maria death toll
by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/09/18, 01:36 pm
The Puerto Rican government conceded Thursday that the devastation associated with Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people, a number vastly exceeding the official count that for months noted only 64 deaths. The storm ripped through the island in September 2017, knocking out power and triggering widespread flooding. While the official death count stalled at 64, fatalities climbed amid impassable roads, lack of hospital access, and a power outage that lasted for months. The government faced widespread criticism for undercounting the number as reports surfaced that the death toll likely exceeded 1,000 people. Officials acknowledged the higher tally in a report addressed to Congress that requested $139 billion in assistance.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.