Puerto Rico "could have been better prepared" for hurricane

Source
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Hurricane Maria near peak intensity, moving north towards Puerto Rico, on September 19, 2017 (c) The Naval Research Laboratory
Hurricane Maria near peak intensity, moving north towards Puerto Rico, on September 19, 2017 (c) The Naval Research Laboratory

30 August 2018, GENEVA – According to reports, Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, has said that the island could have been better prepared for Hurricane Maria, which hit almost one year ago.

Mr Rosselló made the comments to journalists following the announcement that the official death toll had been revised from 64 to 2,975 following efforts by activists and journalists to demonstrate that the impact had been far greater than originally anticipated.

In the three months after the hurricane, there were 1,427 more deaths than the average for the same period over the previous four years, according to the report by the Milken Institute.

This is largely because of the sustained impact of the disaster with respect to those needing medical assistance and access to medicines.

The revised figures illustrate the key principles of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which aims to reduce human and economic loss from disasters and promote preparedness and resilience.

Target E of the globally agreed Framework calls for an increase in the number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction plans, while target C aims to reduce direct economic loss.

The latter will also make up the theme for the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2018, marked on 13 October.

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