Puerto Rico’s new death toll of almost 3000 casualties from Hurricane Maria has made the storm one of the deadliest hurricanes in US history, killing more people than 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which numbered 1,833 people.
By comparison, the September 11 attacks killed 2,996 people.
Authorities yesterday officially raised the death toll from last year’s Hurricane Maria (September 20, 2017) to 2,975, which surpasses:
– Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which is responsible for 1,833 deaths, and
– the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane in Florida, which killed 2,500 people.
– the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 remains the deadliest recorded hurricane in US history, with estimates of 6,000-12,000 people killed.
News organizations and some members of Congress have raised questions about the official death toll in Puerto Rico, which had remained at 64 for months.
CNN reporters surveyed about half of the funeral homes across the island and found that funeral home directors identified 499 deaths they considered to be hurricane-related. In December, The New York Times estimated 1,052 “excess deaths” occurred after Maria. The findings of George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health are nearly triple most estimates of the hurricane’s death toll.
Democrats in the House, including some Hispanic Caucus members, have requested an investigation into the Trump administration’s response to Hurricane Maria. The Category 5 storm knocked out power on the island, leaving much of it without electricity for almost a year. Meanwhile, residents struggled to get medical care, repair their homes, or even find food and water. Thousands have since left for the mainland United States.