It’s official. In the 40 days after Hurricane María hit Puerto Rico, at least 985 additional people died, when compared to the same period in 2016, new data first obtained by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) shows.
And if the entire months of September and October are included (since Hurricane Irma also passed through the island days before María), the figure rises to 1,065 deaths—despite the fact that Puerto Rico would have lost over 100,000 inhabitants due to migration this year, according to migration estimates from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies of The City University of New York.
Since September 20, the day when the historic Category 4 storm struck the entire island with 155-mile-per-hour winds that left Puerto Rico without power, the average daily death rate increased by 43% with peaks of about 80% on days like September 21 and 25. In October, deaths increased by 23.3%.