Puerto Rico raises death toll from storm Maria to 2975


Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a Category 4 storm.

If the new figures are accurate, Hurricane Maria is the deadliest storm to have hit Puerto Rico since the 1899 San Ciriaco hurricane.

It was an optimistic accounting of his administration's handling of the natural disaster, which left much of the U.S. territory without power for weeks and resulted in thousands of deaths.

The study found that all age and income groups were affected by the sharp rise in mortality, but that the risk of death was markedly higher among the island's poor.

One month after Maria, when the official number of people killed stood at 16, Trump said that the disaster was nothing compared to Hurricane Katrina's death toll. By comparison, deaths blamed on Hurricane Katrina in 2005 range from about 1,200 to more than 1,800, most along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi. "Stay here and be homeless, or move to Puerto Rico and be unemployed or have no home and struggle there".

"Did we do a great job?" he asked his guest.

Central Florida accepted an influx of Puerto Ricans after the storm, though there is no exact count of how many people moved from the island to Florida in the last 11 months.

They contend President Donald Trump's administration viewed Puerto Ricans as second-class citizens, a claim it denies. "The Trump administration led us to believe that they were helping when they weren't really up to par".

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The White House issued a statement on Tuesday noting that it sent 12,000 personnel to Puerto Rico for response and recovery efforts, and said it would continue to support the island's government and its communities in their recovery for years to come.

Trump did not respond directly to his critics Wednesday, instead saying he hoped the island doesn't suffer a similar fate this year.

"I've got family over there and a lot of friends", she said.

"Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job", Bush said then.

The revised figure was first "revealed" by the Puerto Rico government, according to the final report, on June 13, one day after officials were forced by a judge to release death records that CNN and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo in Puerto Rico had sued to make public.

The government's long-standing official death toll from Maria has been just 64 for the island territory which is part of the United States.

He said the emergency response to Puerto Rico was more hard than when Texas and Florida were hit with hurricanes around the same time "because it's an island" - and falsely claimed "their electric plant was dead before the hurricane".

FILE PHOTO: Ysamar Figueroa carrying her son Saniel, looks at the damage in the neighbourhood after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria, in Canovanas, Puerto Rico September 26, 2017. President Trump has not commented on the new numbers directly.