Hurricane Death Toll in Puerto Rico Increases to 54

In this October 14, 2017 file photo, mourners gather with the casket in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico. Getty Images/Mario Tama

Authorities in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico say the number of deaths tied to Hurricane Maria has increased to 54 with three new deaths reported.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said Wednesday that two of the deaths were accidents involving trees and the third was a person who committed suicide after losing their job.

The deaths occurred in the municipalities of Vega Baja, San Sebastian and San Lorenzo.

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 154 mph (248 kph). It wiped out crops, damaged or destroyed 230,000 homes and left the entire island without power.

Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, bringing heavy rains and sustained winds of 140 mph.

(Published Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017)

Puerto Rico's power company is producing nearly 40 percent of its normal output, and roughly 20 percent of customers are still without water.