The Puerto Rican government has acknowledged that the death toll following Hurricane Maria was far higher than previously thought.
The government has admitted that at least 1,427 people died in the wake of the devastating hurricane, though it has not updated the official death toll which remains at just 64.
A study conducted by Harvard estimates that the actual death toll is likely closer to at least 4,000.
“There’s only one official count and the actual counting of disaster related fatalities is the local responsibility of Puerto Rico. We have been supportive of Governor (Ricardo) Rossello’s efforts to ensure a full accounting and transparency. Those grieving deserve no less. The whole of government remains focused on ongoing recovery and preparedness for the current hurricane season.” — White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley
The president traveled to Puerto Rico in the weeks following the hurricane and applauded them for a low death toll and compared the tragedy to Hurricane Katrina.
Exempting Harvard’s study, which would put the death at more than twice that of Katrina, it now looks as though only 400 fewer people died in Puerto Rico than in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Texas.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.
To read our original coverage of Harvard’s study, click here.