U.S. NEWS
08/09/2018 09:25 am ET

Puerto Rico Concedes Hurricane Maria Deaths Were More Than 1,400

Officials previously reported just 64 deaths from last year's powerful storm.
A man wades on the water while pushing his bicycle through a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Catano, Pu
AFP Contributor via Getty Images
A man wades on the water while pushing his bicycle through a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Catano, Puerto Rico on September 22, 2017.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico has conceded that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people on the island last year and not just the 64 in the official death toll.

The government acknowledged the higher death toll with no fanfare in a report submitted to Congress this week in which it detailed a $139 billion reconstruction plan for the island.

That quiet acknowledgement was first reported Thursday by The New York Times.

Puerto Rican officials have admitted that more than 64 people likely died from the powerful storm that knocked out the power grid and caused widespread flooding that made many roads impassable. But a more exact number has been a matter of debate that the government has sought to end by commissioning an academic study due out in coming weeks.

A sign reads '4,645' near empty pairs of shoes outside San Juan's Capitol building during a June protest against the governme
Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sign reads '4,645' near empty pairs of shoes outside San Juan's Capitol building during a June protest against the government's reporting of the death toll from Hurricane Maria.
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