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Hurricane Maria Caused Nearly 3,000 Fatalities, New Study Reveals

The death toll from Hurricane Maria was far higher than originally believed, according to an independent study from George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health. While the official death toll was just 62, according to the study, that number is much higher: 2,975.

"The results of our epidemiological study suggest that, tragically, Hurricane Maria led to a large number of excess deaths throughout the island," said Carlos Santos-Burgoa, Epidemiologist and the study’s Principal Investigator, in a statement. "We hope this report and its recommendations will help build the island's resilience and pave the way toward a plan that will protect all sectors of society in times of natural disasters."

The study was commissioned by Puerto Rico's Gov. Ricardo Rossello following public pressure to more accurately determine the amount of fatalities following the hurricane.

This comes right as the rains after Hurricane Lane threaten Hawaii. The storm passed over the state during the weekend, but dropped around 52 inches of rain on its way, marking the second highest amount of rainfall from a tropical cyclone since 1950.

According to CoreLogic, the damage from Hurricane Lane is likely to impact around 48,000 homes in Hawaii, a problem which the GSEs are looking to address. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico faces ongoing reconstruction efforts a year later, with $90 billion in damages, and the need for actionable solutions has never been more pressing.

On November 14-16, Five Star will host the PR18 Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico to focus on rebuilding efforts and the current state of the island following Hurricane Maria. Housing industry executives from banks, servicers, and suppliers, as well as key stakeholders in the affected regions, local officials, and representatives from related governmental agencies will be in attendance to collaborate and discuss Puerto Rico’s affairs and brainstorm long-term solutions to the housing crisis on the island.

Click below for more information and to register for this event

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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