Puerto Rico's Government Reports Maria Death Toll Over 1,427

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

The Puerto Rican government has submitted a report to Congress counting the death toll in the wake of Hurricane Maria at over 1,427, much higher than the 64 deaths acknowledged as the current official count.

The report was submitted as a draft last month, available for public viewing here. It explains: "The official number is being reviewed as part of a study under way by George Washington University." GWU was hired to investigate the number after discrepancies in reporting around it, according to CNN.

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Variations in death counts may be occuring because while some fatalities were caused directly by the Hurricane, many are happening due to lack of resources in the post-storm blackout.

"We understand that the number is higher," said Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, to CNN. "We didn't commission the study to prove there were 64 (deaths). We wanted a scientific and epidemiological study that would give us light, not only on the number -- we know the number is higher -- but the reasons why this happened."

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