As the confirmed death toll remains frozen at 64, Puerto Rico has estimated that more than 1,400 people were killed by Hurricane Maria.

In a report to the US Congress detailing a £139bn reconstruction plan, the Puerto Rico government estimated there were 1,427 more deaths between September and December last year than the average for the same time period in previous years.

Most of the deaths resulted not from the storm directly, but the “cascading failures” in infrastructure that followed it, with power and water knocked out, homes and roads damaged, and widespread flooding.

Unable to reach hospitals or get around easily, the injured and elderly found themselves facing life-threatening challenges months after the hurricane wrought its initial devastation.

As what the report called “post-disaster failure” stretched onward, people lost their jobs, schools were closed and businesses shut down. Residents lacked electricity, food and water for a “prolonged period”.

An investigation into fatalities was ordered by the administration of Governor Ricardo Rossello several months ago, when it stopped updating its official death toll amid claims it had been dramatically under-counted.