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In Puerto Rico, death toll from Hurricane Maria reaches 16

Trees are reflected in the water in the Buena Vista community in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

The government of Puerto Rico says the death toll from Hurricane Maria on the island is now 16, and that brings the overall toll across the Caribbean to 49 lives lost.

Authorities say the deaths have occurred across Puerto Rico from the effects of the Category 4 storm that devastated the island.

The figure of 16 deaths was reported by Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Monday amid local media reports of additional deaths. Rossello told reporters Monday that his government has now been in touch with mayors throughout the island and is working to bring water and food to isolated communities that were cut off by the storm.

Rossello has thanked U.S. President Donald Trump for the federal emergency assistance being provided after Hurricane Maria.

Rossello praised the federal effort in a news conference with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long and Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert.

Puerto Rico's governor says FEMA has done a "phenomenal job" with assistance that includes water and diesel fuel for generators.

The FEMA chief Long said that about 10,000 U.S. federal employees are in the U.S. territory helping with recovery, days after the Category 4 storm walloped the island.

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