Trump’s claim of success in Puerto Rico hurricane response derided

New York Democratic primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said: “Some of my [Puerto Rico] family just got power a few weeks ago. People are developing respiratory issues partly due to airborne fungal spores from lack of proper cleanup. The admin’s response to Puerto Rico has been a disaster.”

Some Trump supporters on social media accepted there had been failures but said the president had done all he could and that it was Puerto Rican officials who were to blame.

What happened in Hurricane Maria?

Maria made landfall in mid-September last year having just been downgraded to a category four hurricane, with winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) and driving rain.

It caused catastrophic damage to the north-eastern Caribbean and was the most intense cyclone worldwide in 2017.

Six graphics that sum up Puerto Rico disaster

Infrastructure was severely damaged in Puerto Rico and the territory struggled to make repairs to the power grid, only completing the work 11 months later.

Maria was estimated to have caused $100bn (£77bn) in damage.

For long the government there listed the death toll at only 64, although it acknowledged it was probably much higher.

The island’s authorities finally accepted a revised toll of 2,975 after a government-commissioned report by experts from George Washington University.

This counted those who died in the six months following the storm as a result of poor healthcare and a lack of electricity and clean water. Repeated power cuts also led to an increased number of deaths from diabetes and sepsis.

The report said that those from poorer backgrounds in Puerto Rico were 45% more likely to have been killed in the aftermath of the hurricane.

, , , ,