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Trump extends Puerto Rico disaster aid for 1-3 months

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Staff Writer | February 24, 2018
President Donald Trump authorized an extension of federal benefits to Puerto Rico, because the island still has not fully recovered from Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico disaster
Disaster   An extension of federal benefits
The declaration calls for an extension of "increased federal funding for debris removal and emergency protective measures."

Trump's order follows the expiration of a similar program from September, in which the federal government agreed to underwrite 100 percent of the cost of certain emergency actions.

The new order calls for a 90-day extension on federal funding for debris removal, and a 60-day extension on funding for emergency protective measures.

Maria brought 155-mph winds to Puerto Rico, cut power to thousands of residents and seriously interrupted food and medical care. Some parts of the commonwealth still lack electrical power, more than five months later.

An official toll says 64 Puerto Ricans died from Maria, but George Washington University said this week it will send a team of investigators to examine the death rate.

Some estimates put the toll in the thousands, because of the storm's lingering effects.