Harvard study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria

At least 4,645 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria and its devastation across Puerto Rico last year, according to a new Harvard study released Tuesday, an estimate that far exceeds the official government death toll, which stands at 64.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that health-care disruption for the elderly and the loss of basic utility services for the chronically ill had significant impacts across the U.S. territory, which was thrown into chaos after the September hurricane wiped out the electrical grid and had widespread impacts on infrastructure. Some communities were entirely cut off for weeks amid road closures and communications failures.

Researchers in the United States and Puerto Rico, led by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, calculated the number of deaths by surveying nearly 3,300 randomly chosen households across the island and comparing the estimated post-hurricane death rate to the mortality rate for the year before. Their surveys indicated that the mortality rate was 14.3 deaths per 1,000 residents from Sept. 20 through Dec. 31, 2017, a 62 percent increase in the mortality rate compared to 2016, or 4,645 “excess deaths.”

From Washington Post.

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Commencement at U.S. Naval Academy

“Together there is nothing Americans can’t do, absolutely nothing,” Trump told 2018 graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy.

“In recent years, and even decades, too many people have forgotten that truth. They’ve forgotten that our ancestors trounced an empire, tamed a continent, and triumphed over the worst evils in history.”

He added: “America is the greatest fighting force for peace, justice and freedom in the history of the world. We have become a lot stronger lately. We are not going to apologize for America. We are going to stand up for America.”

Newsweek reports.

Nawabshah = highest-ever temperature recorded in April on #Earth

Women carrying pitchers filled with the water near a remote village in Thar. Women in the desert have to walk miles every day to fetch water for their families. ─ Photo by author
Women carrying pitchers in Thar. Photo by Zulfiqar Kunbhar (Dawn).

Nawabshah (Shaheed Benazirabad) may have endured the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth in the month of April, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, quoting a French meteorologist and an expert on weather extremes.

A high of 50.2 degrees Celsius was recorded in Shaheed Benazirabad on April 30, with dozens suffering heat strokes and business activities coming to a halt in the city.

Read: How Sindh is struggling to respond to climate change challenges

Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist at Meteo France, posted on Twitter that the temperature recorded in the city on Apr 30 was the highest ever for Pakistan as well as Asia. But Christopher Burt, a global expert on weather extremes, went a step ahead to claim it may have been the highest ever recorded in the world in the month.

from Dawn.