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Thu Jun 14, 2018, 06:55 AM

Puerto Rico issues new data on Hurricane Maria deaths

Source: Associated Press

By Danica Coto ASSOCIATED PRESS JUNE 14, 2018


Facing at least three lawsuits demanding more data on the death toll, Puerto Ricoís government released new information on Tuesday that added detail to the growing consensus that hundreds or even thousands of people died as an indirect result of the storm.

According to the new data, there were 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 than the average for the same time period over the previous four years. Additionally, September and October had the highest number of deaths of any months since at least 2013. But the statistics donít indicate whether the storm and its aftermath contributed to the additional deaths.

The Puerto Rican government says it believes more than 64 people died as a result of the storm but it will not raise its official toll until George Washington University completes a study of the data being carried out on behalf of the US territory.

A Harvard study published last month estimates there were as many as 4,600 more deaths than usual in the three months after Maria, although some independent experts questioned the methodology and the numbers in that study. Still, previous studies have found the number of direct and indirect hurricane-related deaths is higher than the official toll, including a 2017 report that said there were nearly 500 more deaths than usual on the island in September.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2018/06/13/puerto-rico-issues-new-data-hurricane-maria-deaths/2W6iJjiMvNKwZqfHM8pwvJ/story.html

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