UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL — Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico last September leaving behind a path of destruction.
Officials now concede that the Category 4 hurricane killed 20 times more people than previously reported.
In a draft report to Congress published August 9, Puerto Rico’s government admitted more than 1,400 people died. They had officially listed the number at 64.
According to The New York Times, the higher figures came from death registry statistics released in June.
However, officials on the island never publicly acknowledged those numbers — until now.
Puerto Rican officials called the hurricane that pummeled the island “catastrophic.”
Many of the deaths reportedly came after the hurricane passed — from lack of electricity, water, food and medical treatment.
The report gave a number of examples of the post-hurricane devastation that included people dying in their cars after getting trapped for days.
One mayor recounted three dialysis patients who died in his town because they couldn’t get access to treatment.