Puerto Ricans honour hurricane dead as estimates rise

T TV Sunday 03/June/2018 13:29 PM
By: Times News Service

San Juan: Rows of shoes - lined up like tombstones in a graveyard – were placed just outside the capitol building in San Juan to mark the death toll in Puerto Rico from last year's brutal hurricane season, as the Island braces for the start of a new one.
Neida Morales Perez, who lost her sister due to the hurricane last year is still grieving, "I'm here because my sister died. My sister is part of the statistics. She got into an accident and they couldn't operate on her in time."
The memorial visualises the discrepancy between the official death figure of 64 given by the Federal government and the much-larger 4,645 deaths estimated by Harvard University, after surveying thousands of residents.
Elmer Sanchez Ortiz is one of the many calling for true recognition for all who died. Elmer said, "I'm here to pay homage to all these victims, who the government for their negligence, didn't want to count. And there are still more, because as I understand it, many of them were cremated, and there are no records for them."

The power outages and infrastructure deficiencies that have racked the island since Hurricane Maria hit last year have yet to be fully fixed and could pose a threat to more lives, as another hurricane season begins.