HURRICANE MARIA DEATHS… - Welcome to Soul 2 Soul Mates Blog


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The government of Puerto Rico finally acknowledged in Transformation and Innovation in the Wake of Devastation,a report posted online and filed with Congress Wednesday, that an additional 1427 people died in the four months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck, compared to the average for that period for the previous four years.

This number is more than twenty times higher than the previous, unrevised official death toll of 64 that remained unchanged, despite several independent assessments that reported much higher figures.

The report — which stretches to more than 400 pages– sets out the island’s recovery and reconstruction plan to Congress, with a total cost for funding Puerto Rico’s economic and disaster recovery of $125 billion (report. p. IX).
The figures came from death registry statistics that were released in June, but which were never publicly acknowledged by officials on the island.

The increase was enormous, particularly considering that Puerto Rico’s population has declined considerably in the past few years.

Now, it’s not exactly news to anyone that the previous reported death toll was not only too low, but could have been avoided by a better response. Sustained and widespread power outages was one factor that caused many deaths. This prior post discussed the breakdown of emergency and hospital services, How Puerto Rico’s Death Toll Was Ignored, and Could Have Been Avoided; it was the second part of a Real News Network two-part series. The first part, Puerto Rico’s Uncounted Dead: Study Says Hurricane Maria Toll Far Higher Than Official Count, provided more detail on the impact of privatization on critical supplies like oxygen and medications, the lack of which also killed people. (This is just one of many posts on Puerto Rico’s suffering Lambert has posted since the hurricanes struck; see., e.g., here, here, here, and here, for a sample.)

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