President Donald Trump has been criticised for hailing the US response to the deadly Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year as "tremendous".
The mayor of its capital tweeted: "If he thinks the death of 3,000 people is a success God help us all."
Puerto Rico only finished restoring full power last month, 11 months after the hurricane hit.
A recent report says 8% left the island after the hurricane and many died due to poor health care and other services.
The island's Governor Ricardo Rossello issued a statement on Tuesday night, describing Maria as "the worst natural disaster in our modern history. Our basic infrastructure was devastated, thousands of our people lost their lives and many others still struggle".
Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the US, is home to some 3.3 million people.
What did the president say?
He was asked at the White House what lessons could be learned from Hurricane Maria as Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas.
Maria, he said, was the "hardest one we had by far because of the island nature", adding: "I actually think it was one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about.