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Washington Post: Hurricane’s death toll in Puerto Rico put at nearly 3,000

By Danica Coto

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s governor raised the U.S. territory’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 on Tuesday after an independent study found that the number of people who succumbed in the desperate, sweltering aftermath had been severely undercounted.

The new estimate of nearly 3,000 dead in the six months after Maria devastated the island in September 2017 and knocked out the entire electrical grid was made by researchers with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

“We never anticipated a scenario of zero communication, zero energy, zero highway access,” Gov. Ricardo Rossello told reporters. “I think the lesson is to anticipate the worst. ... Yes, I made mistakes. Yes, in hindsight, things could’ve been handled differently.”