October 1, 2017 / 1:44 PM / 10 months ago

U.S. defense personnel numbers rise, refugee numbers drop in Puerto Rico: governor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department has sent 1,800 additional personnel to Puerto Rico since Friday, bringing the total to 6,400, the island’s governor said at a Sunday news conference where he provided updates on the recovery from Hurricane Maria.

Governor of Puerto Rico Ricardo Rossello speaks during a news conference days after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, in San Juan, Puerto Rico September 30, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Governor Ricardo Rossello also said the number of refugees had dropped to 8,800 people in 139 shelters. This allowed Puerto Rico to close more than 300 shelters in the past 10 days since Maria hit the U.S. territory, destroying homes and leaving millions of people without power or drinking water.

Reporting by Julia Harte; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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