Puerto Rico is­sues new data

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - Obituaries/from The Front Page -

Eight days af­ter Hur­ri­cane Maria dev­as­tated Puerto Rico, Efrain Perez felt a pain in his chest.

Doc­tors near his small town sent him to Puerto Rico’s main hos­pi­tal in San Juan for emer­gency surgery for an aor­tic aneurysm. But when the am­bu­lance pulled into the park­ing lot in the cap­i­tal, San Juan, af­ter a more than two-hour drive, a doc­tor ran out to stop it.

“He said, ‘Don’t bring him in here, I can’t care for him. I don’t have power. I don’t have wa­ter. I don’t have an anes­the­si­ol­o­gist,’” Perez’s daugh­ter, Nery­belle, re­called.

The 95-year-old Perez died as the am­bu­lance drove him back to south­west­ern Puerto Rico but he is not in­cluded in the island’s of­fi­cial hur­ri­cane death toll of 64 peo­ple, a fig­ure at the cen­ter of a grow­ing le­gal and po­lit­i­cal fight over the re­sponse to the Cat­e­gory 4 storm that hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017.

Fac­ing at least three law­suits de­mand­ing more data on the death toll, Puerto Rico’s gov­ern­ment re­leased new in­for­ma­tion that added de­tail to the grow­ing con­sen­sus that hun­dreds or even thou­sands of peo­ple died as an indirect re­sult of the storm.

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