Death toll from Maria rises to 10 in Puerto Rico: report

Death toll from Maria rises to 10 in Puerto Rico: report
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The death toll in Puerto Rico has risen to at least 10 people after the passing of Hurricane Maria early Wednesday, as millions of the island's residents struggle to rebuild amid a major power outage.

The New York Times reported Friday that eight people drowned in the northern town of Toa Baja, according to the town's mayor. That brings the total dead in Puerto Rico to 10, slightly less than the 15 people reported dead on the Caribbean isle of Dominica.

The island's roughly 3.4 million residents are relying on generators for electricity after Maria's landfall wiped out the entire island's power grid. Puerto Rico officials have estimated that fully restoring power to the island could take "months."

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A spokesman for Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said that the island was "100 percent without power" on Tuesday.

“We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history,” Rosselló said Tuesday, adding that the Trump administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency "have responded extraordinarily."

The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands Kenneth Mapp echoed Rosselló's urgency, saying that his territory was powerless as well.

"We need help. With our FEMA partners and our cruise ship partners, we're bringing in a lot of food, water, tarpaulins, personal hygiene packs, cots and blankets," Mapp said Thursday.

During a meeting with Ukraine's president at the United Nations on Thursday, President Trump said that Puerto Rico had been "totally destroyed."

“Puerto Rico was absolutely obliterated,” Trump said Thursday. “Got hit with winds they say, they’ve never seen winds like this anywhere. Got hit as a 5, Category 5 storm, which literally never happens.”

“Their electrical grid is destroyed,” he added. “It wasn’t in good shape to start off with. But their electrical grid is totally destroyed. And so many other things.”