Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria Death Toll Now Estimated 46 Times Higher Than Initial Toll
We’re a long way from understanding the scope of one of the deadliest tragedies to strike America in the 21st Century.
This is an update to an earlier published Rantt article.
In a report to Congress earlier this month, the Puerto Rican government finally updated their official death toll for Hurricane Maria. It went from 64 to 1,427 people. And now, a new George Washington University study commissioned by Puerto Rico has estimated the toll is actually 2,975 deaths between September 2017 and February 2018.
The deaths were reportedly more likely due to a lack of medical care and other resources in the aftermath rather than from the initial impact of the storm itself.
In May, a Harvard University study estimated that Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 in Puerto Rico. And earlier this month, the JAMA medical journal published a letter that estimated between 1,006 and 1,272 people died due to the storm.
Whether the death toll continues to rise or not, this is officially one of the deadliest tragedies to strike America in the 21st century.
Perspective: The initial death toll of the 9/11 terrorist attacks was 2,996 (over 1,000 more have died from illnesses related to the attacks), while Hurricane Katrina’s death toll was 1,833.
Given President Trump’s reluctance to provide necessary aid, attacks on the Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz, and overall negligence during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, you would expect this to be treated as the major scandal it is. But President Trump has not received the amount of universal backlash that President George W. Bush did for his negligence during Hurricane Katrina.
A FRONTLINE & @NPR investigation found that the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico lagged behind the responses to Harvey and Irma on the U.S. mainland. https://t.co/6R4xZtGCvG pic.twitter.com/3Vt7P5rAQQ
— FRONTLINE (@frontlinepbs) May 30, 2018
Puerto Ricans are American citizens and human beings. Let’s hope they get the resources they need to recover fully.
It took 11 months to restore power to Puerto Rico.