The Puerto Rican government said Friday that 911 people died of “natural causes” following Hurricane Maria, according to BuzzFeed News.
Karixia Ortiz Serrano, a spokesperson for the Department of Public Safety, told BuzzFeed that the deaths were not related to the hurricane.
BuzzFeed reports that none of the bodies were examined by a medical examiner for consideration to be included in the Maria death toll, and Ortiz said the classifications of death by “natural causes” were made by reviewing records and not inspection by medical examiners.
Ortiz told the outlet that the Puerto Rican government has no official guidelines on what qualifies as a hurricane-related death. The official Hurricane Maria death toll currently stands at 51.
The 911 bodies were cremated before medical examiners looked at them, according to BuzzFeed.
Last week, top Democrats called on the Department of Homeland Security to provide accurate death counts following the hurricane.
“We urge you to provide …