A large number of deaths feared in Florida

A large number of deaths feared in Florida

Destroyed cities, millions of people without electricity but above all human losses that can be “significant”: Florida He had just started on Thursday to evaluate Severe damage caused by Hurricane Ian. As images of streets proliferate into channels of murky water, of boats lying on the ground like simple toys, of wrecked homes, Florida’s latest balance sheet reports at least 12 deaths. But it is likely to be much heavier than that.

On Thursday morning, the mayor of Lee County cited a figure that could be “hundreds of dead,” as thousands of people were trapped by flooding, while Ian made landfall a little further south. But the official later retracted his statements, noting that he had no exact numbers. During such natural disasters, first assessments are often difficult, with many people missing and communications difficult.

Possibly ‘the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history’

Ian’s classification was downgraded to a tropical storm after it passed over land, and Ian was boosted again to the point of being reclassified as a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Ian was heading late Thursday afternoon to North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

“This may be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” US President Joe Biden said during a visit to the offices of the federal agency that combats natural disasters. He added, “The numbers (…) are not yet clear, but we are receiving initial reports of human losses that could be large,” stressing that he wants to head to the southern state as soon as possible. American territory in Puerto Rico, an island recently devastated by Hurricane Fiona.

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More than 2 million people are without electricity

At a news conference Thursday evening, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he expected several deaths. The official-elect did not provide a provisional figure, however, preferring to wait for results to be confirmed “over the next few days” “More than 700 confirmed rescues have been conducted, and there will certainly be more as more data arrives,” the governor also said.

Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 (magnitude 5) hurricane in southwest Florida, before continuing to track across the state, bringing strong winds and torrential rain.

According to the specialized PowerOutage website, more than 2.3 million homes or businesses remained without electricity, Thursday evening, out of a total of 11 million.

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