A man walks up a hill in an area without electricity or running water in Utuado, Puerto Rico, on 10 October 2017. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

By Alison Durkee
15 October 2017

(Mic) – It has now been more than three weeks since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico and the island is still reeling from the devastation it caused.

Despite an influx of federal and private aid, many on the hurricane-ravaged island are still without such basic necessities as potable water and electricity, and the death toll of Puerto Ricans killed by hurricane-related causes continues to climb.

“What happened in Texas and Florida were disasters,” W. Craig Fugate, the FEMA administrator under former President Barack Obama, told the New York Times. “What happened in Puerto Rico was a catastrophe.”

Here are the numbers to know about the ongoing devastation in Puerto Rico.

3.4 million

The population of Puerto Rico. As a U.S. territory, all Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and the island is more populous than 21 U.S. states, according to CNN.

9 percent

Percentage of Puerto Rican residents with electricity as of 13 October 2017, according to FEMA.

63 percent

Percentage of Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority customers who have potable water, according to FEMA. This means that more than 1.2 million citizens are still without water, CNN noted.

The New York Times reported that finding water has been an ongoing struggle for Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria, with some even resorting to trying to obtain water at Superfund sites filled with hazardous waste.

76.1 percent

Percentage of cell sites that still remain out of service as of 12 October 2017, as reported by the Federal Communications Commission. The Puerto Rican government reported that as of Oct. 15, 59% of telecommunications services are currently operational, along with only 25.07% of cell phone antennas and 42.61% of cell phone towers.


Miles of roads in Puerto Rico that are open as of 12 October 2017, according to FEMA — out of a total 5,073 miles of roads.

90 percent

Estimated percentage of homes in Puerto Rico that were damaged by Hurricane Maria, according to CNN.

80 percent

Percentage of crops in Puerto Rico that were destroyed by Hurricane Maria, according to the Weather Channel, devastating the island’s agricultural industry.


Official death toll of Puerto Ricans killed by the hurricane, as reported by the government. An additional 117 people, at least, also still remain unaccounted for.

The actual number of deaths, however, is projected to be much higher. Vox has reported an additional 36 hurricane-related deaths in addition to the official tally, along with an additional 450 deaths where the cause is currently unknown.

Just one week after Hurricane Maria, the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico found that the majority of the island’s hospital morgues were already at capacity. The Los Angeles Times also noted that 100 people died in the three days following the hurricane in Puerto Rico’s Lajas region, which is twice the region’s typical rate. [more]

Puerto Rico by the Numbers: Three weeks later, the island is still devastated from Hurricane Maria



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