Harvard study: Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 people

TOPSHOT - People stand next to debris at a restaurant in Le Carbet, on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, after it was hit by Hurricane Maria, on September 19, 2017. Martinique suffered power outages but avoided major damage. (LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

A Harvard study says Hurricane Maria likely killed thousands of Puerto Ricans more than the official estimate.

The study was released Tuesday. Researchers surveyed households on the battered island in Maria’s wake and found evidence of more than 4,600 “excess deaths” during the storm and the weeks that followed.

The hurricane roared through the island on Sept. 20, destroying buildings and knocking out power to virtually the entire U.S. territory.

After the storm, authorities in Puerto Rico placed the death toll at 64. The researchers report the death toll likely to exceed 5,000.

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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