Puerto Rico Quietly Acknowledges Higher Death Toll From Hurricane Maria


Hundreds of pairs of shoes in San Juan, P.R., paid tribute to the victims of Hurricane Maria. The storm’s official death toll of 64 has not yet been changed.
Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

In a report posted online, Puerto Rico acknowledges more than 1,400 deaths attributed to Hurricane Maria, a figure 20 times higher than the government’s official hurricane death count of 64. The hurricane struck in late September, causing long term power outages believed to contribute to the death toll. Many could not access hospitals after the storm.

The adjusted count is part of a draft of a report to Congress to request additional recovery funds. In the report, the Puerto Rican government admits 1,427 more people died in the last four months of 2017 compared to the same time frame the previous year. The numbers come from death registry statistics released in June but never publicly acknowledged by Puerto Rican officials.

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