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100 days in the dark leave Puerto Ricans with glimmer of hope

Approximately a third of the island remains without electricity with residents struggling to get basic services in some communities.

 / Updated 24 PHOTOS
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Jose Santiago stands in front of the remains of his destroyed home on Dec. 19, 2017 in Utuado. He currently lives in a home next door without electricity.

 

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Doris Martinez receives supplies and water from municipal staff outside City Hall in Morovis on Dec. 21.

Over 30,000 residents of the mountain town wait for the restoration of electric power service, one of the last municipalities of Puerto Rico that remains completely in the dark more than three months after the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Carlos Giusti / AP
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Rosa Maria Torres, 96, stays bedridden in her residence at the San Lorenzo sector in Morovis on Dec. 21. Nearly 1,000 homes across Morovis lost their roofs and 90 percent of residents have not received federal assistance, officials say, adding they expect it will be several more months before power returns.

Photos: Relief Team in Puerto Rico Brings Aid and Comfort to Elderly

Carlos Giusti / AP
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Melanie Oliveras Gonzalez, 6, holds a lantern in the living room of her house in Morovis on Dec. 21. All the electronics are connected to an inverter plugged to the family car battery.

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A resident sits outside her home as a trash fire burns in San Isidro on Dec. 21.

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People stand in line for free food and health supplies passed out by the nonprofit Lets.Give in Utuado on Dec. 19.

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Wilmarie Gonzalez Rivera listens to her daughter Yeinelis Oliveras Gonzalez, 2, as she feeds her breakfast in Morovis on Dec. 22.

"You always have to have a smile on your face because if not, the kids get sad," Rivera said as tears welled in her eyes.

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Toppled trees lie on damaged graves in the Villa Palmeras cemetery in San Juan on Dec. 23.

The island’s governor ordered a review of all deaths in the hurricane after several media organizations questioned whether the official death toll of 64 was too low.

Related: Puerto Rico governor orders review of death count after Hurricane Maria

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Carmen Cintron, founder of Canita Sanctuary that protects abandoned animals from being euthanized, holds one of her rescue dogs in Guayama on Dec. 15.

Hundreds of dogs, cats and even the occasional pet pig and fighting cock have been left at shelters.

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Vivania Santana, 33, hangs recently washed clothes outside her home in the Punta Santiago beachfront neighborhood in Humacao on Dec. 8.

Ricardo Arduengo / for NBC News
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Joaquin Rivera Calderon, 75, gets up early to tend to a Nativity scene on the balcony of his house in Morovis on Dec. 22.

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Inocencia Rivera, mother of Eduardo Gonzalez, a man who committed suicide three weeks after the passage of Hurricane Maria, stands on her balcony, surrounded by small, solar powered Christmas lights and a flag of Puerto Rico, in Morovis on Dec. 21.

Government officials say they are counting some suicides as part of the official death toll because people across Puerto Rico have become so desperate in post-hurricane conditions.

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Jesus M. Montijo holds his son Damian Kaleb, 1, in a shelter for victims of Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja on Dec. 25.

Montijo said that he's been living in shelters ever since his home was destroyed in the hurricane.

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A man stands surrounded by the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in Morovis on Dec. 20.

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A worker cleans and paints a damaged home in Toa Baja on Dec. 20.

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Jesus Perez and his wife Maria Santiago sit by a Christmas tree they constructed from Coca-Cola cans in Morovis on Dec. 20. Their home remains without electricity.

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A school bus crosses a makeshift bridge built after the original one was washed away in Morovis on Dec. 20.

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People walk on a damaged pier in the Punta Santiago beachfront neighborhood in Humacao on Dec. 8.

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Workers repair a toppled gravestone in the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery in San Juan on Dec. 23.

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A car drives under tilted power line poles in the Punta Santiago beachfront neighborhood in Humacao on Dec. 8.

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A boy sleeps in a shelter for Hurricane Maria victims in Toa Baja on Dec. 25. Twelve adults and 11 children currently reside there.

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Barrio Patron resident Karina Santiago Gonzalez works on a small power plant in Morovis on Dec. 21.

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Worshippers pray during midnight Mass at the Nuestra Senora Del Carmen Church on Dec. 24 in Rio Grande.

The Mass finished well before midnight this year to accommodate those who live in areas without electricity. The church ran the Mass with a generator.

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A mountain of rubble remains in front of the Oliveras Gonzalez family home in Morovis on Dec. 21.

Photos: Dark Days and Long Nights Descend on Puerto Rico

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