Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria death toll hiked to 2,975

Hurricane Maria at a cemetery in Lares Puerto Rico Feb. 8 2018 months after the the island was hit

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Roselló is raising the official toll to match the study's findings.

The study also said that those from poorer backgrounds in Puerto Rico were 45 percent more likely to have been killed in the aftermath of the hurricane.

But US Representative Nydia Velazquez, a New York Democrat, said the study was "only the latest to underscore that the federal response to the hurricanes was disastrously inadequate, and as a result, thousands of our fellow American citizens lost their lives".

A senior White House official described the study as taking a more expansive view of how mortality is counted following a disaster and said the Trump administration had already adopted recommendations made in an after action report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "What is your death count, as of this moment - 17?"

"That caused a number of issues", Goldman said, adding that people were forced to exert themselves physically or were exposed to intense heat without fans or air conditioning.

An independent investigation ordered by Puerto Rico's government estimates that 2,975 people died within six months as a result of Hurricane Maria.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before.

Hurricane Maria, which stuck Puerto Rico about a year ago, killed 2,975 people there, according to an independent investigation commissioned by the US territory. And a Harvard University study based on door-to-door surveys estimated that Maria killed more than 4,600 people. The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $90 billion damage in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the third-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

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Over this same period, older male Puerto Ricans had a risk of death that was 35 percent higher than expected and that elevated risk continued past the study observation period. "Now, almost a year later, we are pleased to be coming close to the end of our role in the reconstruction of Puerto Rico's transportation infrastructure", Acrow CEO Bill Killeen said.

The team also identified flaws in the system that may have led to underreporting deaths previously, including lack of communication and poor training for doctors on how to certify deaths in disasters.

Researchers hope to continue their research, interviewing families of those who died to better understand how the hurricane impacted their deaths.

It analyzed death certificates and other mortality data for six months from September 2017 through February 2018.

Thus, like other jurisdictions that are part of the US, the death certification process can lead to an undercount of deaths related to disasters like Hurricane Maria.

Researchers said they adjusted for various factors that could account for fluctuations in mortality, most notably the displacement of some 241,000 residents who fled the island in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

However, they did not share details of their methodology, saying those will be released if the study is published in a scientific journal.

Puerto Rico stopped publicly sharing its data on hurricane deaths in December 2017.

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