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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 Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  • Dick Friedrich
    Posted: Fri, 08/10/2018 09:09 am

    The important question going forward is what sort of actions will reduce deaths in future storms? Will the Puerto Ricans (especially the leaders) be proactive and take the initiative in self-government? Or, will they continue to be dependent on the largesse of others? Like so many of us they have increasingly given up self-government for being ruled by others. Money alone will never address the root of the problems we face, in fact, if that's all we look to as a solution, it may only get in the way of the growth we need. We pray that the billions of dollars of assistance will be used in ways that help people to realize the responsibilities they (and we) have.