FEMA admitted in a report released Thursday that it wasn’t adequately prepared for the devastation Hurricane Maria would cause to Puerto Rico. The agency said it created a “deficit of commodities” by moving supplies from Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Irma. “FEMA leadership acknowledged that the Agency could have better anticipated that the severity of hurricanes Irma and Maria would cause long-term, significant damage to the territories’ infrastructure,” the report stated A Harvard study estimated in May that about 4,645 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria, significantly more than the government’s official estimate of 64 deaths. Many criticized the federal government, including FEMA and the Trump administration, for its slow response to Hurricane Maria. FEMA administrator Brock Long wrote in a letter accompanying the report that the agency should learn from the 2017 hurricane season.
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