Roberto Figueroa Caballero sits on a small table in his home destroyed by Hurricane Maria, in La Perla neighborhood on the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 5, 2017.Ramon Espinosa / AP file
Thousands of Puerto Rico’s coastal structures are vulnerable to future increases in sea levels, according to a new climate report released Friday.
Nearly 8,000 structures in the island’s low-lying areas, as well as drinking water and sanitation pipelines, are said to be at risk by an increase in sea level of 1.6 feet. If that increase extends to 6.5 feet, more than 50,000 structures susceptible, resulting in approximately $11.8 billion in losses.
The territory is still reeling from the widespread infrastructure damage left by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The government submitted a report to Congress in August requesting $139 billion as the amount it needs to recover, making it one of the most expensive hurricanes in U.S. history.