The Puerto Rican government “quietly acknowledged” on Thursday that Hurricane Maria killed 1,427 residents. The government had previously said only 64 people died in the storm’s aftermath.
The announcement came in a report detailing a $139 billion reconstruction plan needed to restore infrastructure across the entire island, which is home to 3.3 million people.
This is still a highly contested figure. A Harvard University study reports that anywhere from 800 to 8,500 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria.
Though some were killed amid the destruction of Hurricane Maria, many were killed in the storm’s aftermath because of nonfunctioning hospitals and a lack of medical care. Resulting power outages also caused an increase in deaths due to diabetes, heart illnesses, and sepsis….
FEMA was part of the problem, as usual:
FEMA ignored Puerto Rico in aftermath of Hurricane Maria
WASHINGTON — As hundreds of people stood in line for food and many went hungry during the days and weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Walmart and local supermarkets threw out tons of spoiled meat, dairy and produce.
Emails and text messages made public Tuesday in a letter sent by the top Democrat on the House oversight committee describe frantic efforts by officials at Walmart and the Puerto Rican government to get fuel for generators to prevent food from going bad.
From the Federal Emergency Management Agency came only silence.
Within a three-hour time span, Walmart officials were able to connect, through email and text messages, with a congressman’s office and local Puerto Rican government officials. They passed on their urgent request for help, just two days after the hurricane made landfall.
Meanwhile, the letter states, FEMA remained unresponsive for days….
Do you see the profit angle? Think disaster capitalism. Who buys up the devastation for pennies on the dollar afterward? Would moles inside FEMA be a profitable investment for such people?