Hurricane Maria death toll lifted

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Puerto Ricans are "going to remember this forever". Shortly after the storm, when the official death toll stood at 16, President Donald Trump marveled over the small loss of life compared to that of "a real catastrophe like Katrina".

In December, The New York Times estimated 1,052 "excess deaths" occurred after Maria. When the lawsuit was initially filed, 1,744 Puerto Rican adults and children were in the program, an attorney involved in the suit said. He said financial instability and a fragile infrastructure made Puerto Rico especially vulnerable to such calamities. He said on Wednesday an outdated electric grid and the territory's status as an island continued to the difficulty. "I will continue to celebrate that out of the ashes, rubble and devastation, a new Puerto Rico church has risen!" "It's much harder to get things on the island".

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told the BBC that there had been "neglect" by the Trump administration and some local officials hadn't wanted to confront the president about the need for more aid.

Hundreds of Puerto Ricans who have been living in motels and hotels on the mainland as part of FEMA's temporary housing aid after Hurricane Maria have to check out on September 14, a federal judge ruled on Thursday. "The Trump administration led us to believe they were helping when they weren't up to par, and they didn't allow other countries to help us", Cruz told CNN.

"We've put a lot of money and a lot of effort into Puerto Rico and I think most of the people in Puerto Rico appreciate what we are doing", Trump said.

"The effect of this hurricane in the island proved that we were not ready for this kind of natural disaster", Cabrera said.

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"The tenacity and resilience of the pastoral leadership and their church membership are wonderful", Sena said.

Trump's comments were reminiscent of former President George W. Bush's comments days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, when Bush praised his FEMA director Michael Brown during his first visit to the region affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

"We have now a container overcrowded with, you know, these dead bodies", said Quinones.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who asked for the research following criticism of the American territory's low death count, said his government accepts the new numbers and wants to learn from the crisis. In the wake of the disaster, some experts estimated as many as 4,600 deaths.

The U.S. territory's governor this week raised the official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 - nearly twice the government's previous estimate. They also took into account an 8 percent drop in Puerto Rico's population in the six months after the storm, when tens of thousands fled because of the damage.

She is one of many critics who say the Trump administration's response to Hurricane Maria paled in comparison to the aid they sent to Texas and Florida in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.