Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Puerto Rico concedes Hurricane Maria deaths more than 1,400

Puerto Rico concedes Hurricane Maria deaths more than 1,400

"The hurricanes' devastating effects on people's health and safety can not be overstated", the government said in the report seeking assistance from Congress to help rebuild an island that was already struggling from a deep economic crisis at the time of the storm.

The Puerto Rican government has admitted more than 1,400 people were killed in Hurricane Maria, far more than the previously reported official toll of 64.

The report claims that the additional deaths resulted from the effects of a storm that led to a "cascading failures" in infrastructure across the island of 3.3 million people.

The admission comes in a report the Puerto Rican government prepared last month and is expected to submit to Congress Thursday requesting $139 billion in aid.

The government said in a report to Congress this week that Maria killed at least 1,427 people in Puerto Rico. As relief workers and residents continue their efforts to fix the damages, government officials in San Juan say that the body count from the storm goes far beyond the official death toll of 64.

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"Every death is a horror - but if you look at a real catastrophe, like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with, really, a storm that was just totally overpowering - nobody has ever seen anything like this", Trump said then. "We always anticipated that this number would increase as more official studies were conducted", Pesquera said.

"Although the official death count from the Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety was initially 64, the toll appears to be much higher", it said in the report.

This new report makes Maria the second-deadliest hurricane to strike Puerto Rico since records began in the mid-19th century, according to data from NOAA's Hurricane Research Division.

The more exact number has been a matter of debate and the government itself released the 1,427 count in June. "It has been tragically clear for some time that the devastation from Irma and Maria was many magnitudes worse than the official death toll suggested", she said.

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