WORSE THAN IMAGINED
The Puerto Rican government’s death toll for a storm is just 64. Researchers who surveyed residents estimate the real toll is 70 times higher.
Pablo Venes in an independent journalist covering weather, healthcare, and social justice in Puerto Rico.
The goal was power by Christmas. Now it’s been pushed to March, because even the Army can’t get what it needs.
Barely half of the island has drinkable water, leaving volunteers from the mainland to provide the basic necessities of life while the federal government lags behind.
Animals larger than 20 pounds aren’t being allowed on planes, forcing families to choose between their two- and four-legged loved ones. Meanwhile, shelters are overflowing.
One woman was left with a can of tuna, another family ate from their garden. One mayor says 5,000 residents face starvation.
A large portion of the official deaths attributed to Hurricane Maria are because people didn't get necessary medical care, likely due to the lack of electricity.
Today it’s painful conjunctivitis. Tomorrow it will be killer cholera unless the federal government acts right now, mayors and doctors say.
Supplies are piling up in the capital, unable to get out to desperate villages, while local leaders drive hours to ask for aid in person.
The waitlist for some airlines flying out of the island is 20,000 people long, and air-traffic controllers have one working radar left.