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10 Numbers That Explain Hurricane Maria's Devastating Toll On Puerto Rico

Authorities are still assessing the toll exacted byHurricane Maria onPuerto Rico this week, but it’s certain that the damage inflicted has been both massive and is likely to grow. 

“We still don’t have a lot of information,” Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossellótold CNNWednesday night. “We’re virtually disconnected in terms of communications with the southeast part of the island.”

President Donald Trumpsigned off on a disaster declarationfor the island on Thursday, but addressing the needs of the devastated island has only just begun.

Cars drive through a flooded road in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan on Sept. 21, 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of the impact (so far) by the numbers:


At least15 deathshave been reported so far as a result of Maria. That number is expected to grow as recovery efforts proceed.

3.4 million

That’s both thepopulation of Puerto Ricoand thenumber of people currently without power. Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s already fragile electrical grid,cutting off power to 100 percentof the island.


It could takeup tosix monthsfor Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the island’s sole energy service provider,to restore power. (Complicating matters, the power authority is around $9 billion in debt.) 

80 ― 90 Percent

Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor,told PBSthat in the hardest hit communities on the island, almost all of the houses have been destroyed. “80 or 90 percent of the homes are a complete disaster,” he said. “They are totally lost.”


Some12,500 people fled their homesto ride out the storm in one of Puerto Rico’s 500 shelters. Given the extent of the damage to homes,Mercader said he expects many people will be forced to live out of the shelters for weeks to come.

155 mph

That was Maria’ssustained windspeed when it made landfallas a Category 4 storm Wednesday morning, just shy of being considered a Category 5 storm, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.


Hurricane Maria was the first Category 4 storm to hit the island since 1932, and thestrongest since a Category 5 storm hit Puerto Rico in 1928.

 $74 billion

Theamount of debtthe economically troubled U.S. territory had before the storm, not including an additional $50 billion in pension liabilities.

$1 billion

Theamount of damage already inflictedon Puerto Rico by Hurricane Irma, whichskirted the island just two weeks ago

$15 million

The woefully small size ofPuerto Rico’s emergency fund.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.