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Death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria rises nearly 4600%



Death toll in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria rises nearly 4600

When the official death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria stood at 64, some in the White House heralded it as a successful mitigation of damage compared to Hurricane Katrina. A new investigation called for by local Puerto Rican officials puts the new death toll at 2,975.

Katrina registered around 1,400 deaths.

Puerto Rico governor raises Hurricane Maria death toll from 64 to 2,975“We never anticipated a scenario of zero communication, zero energy, zero highway access,” Rossello said. “I think the lesson is to anticipate the worst.”

A previous study led by a team of Harvard scientists found that more than 4,600 people were killed in the devastation, dismissing the initial toll of 64 as a “substantial underestimate.”

My Take

Whether you want to blame the local government, Washington DC, or anyone else is likely based on political bias. What cannot be denied is the response to Hurricane Maria, from preparation before it hit to poor management after it passed, was exceptionally bad. There are still people who do not have power. Getting fresh water is still difficult. Access to part of the island is limited.

Puerto Rico is not a state but it’s a part of the United States of America. They are our responsibility. We did not handle Maria the way we would have if the same thing happened on the mainland or even in the state of Hawaii. An independent investigation needs to figure out what all went wrong so we’re better prepared for the next disaster.


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