Florida’s worst death toll is feared

Devastated cities, millions of people without electricity but above all “significant” human numbers: Florida The account started on Thursday Hurricane Ian caused extensive damage. Images of streets turned into canals of murky water, boats tossed to the ground like simple toys, homes smashed to pieces, and the latest toll in Florida show at least 12 dead. But it’s probably too heavy.

Lee County’s county sheriff said Thursday morning there were “hundreds of dead” as thousands of people were trapped by floodwaters while Ian made landfall a little further south. But the official later retracted his comments, pointing out that he did not have the exact figures. During such natural disasters, it is difficult to establish first estimates, many are missing and communications are difficult.

Possibly ‘Deadliest Hurricane in Florida History’

Downgraded to a tropical storm after passing land, Ian strengthened enough to be reclassified as a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Ian was visiting North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia on Thursday afternoon.

“This may be the worst hurricane in Florida history,” US President Joe Biden said during a visit to the offices of the federal agency that fights natural disasters. “The figures (…) are not clear yet, but we are getting initial reports of significant human losses,” he added, promising to visit the southern state soon. The island of Puerto Rico, a US territory, was recently damaged by Hurricane Fiona.

More than 2 million people are without electricity

At a press conference Thursday evening, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he expects more deaths. The elected official did not provide a tentative figure, however, preferring to wait for results to be confirmed “over the next few days,” adding that “there have been over 700 confirmed rescues, and there will certainly be more as the data comes in.”

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

As of Thursday evening, more than 2.3 million homes or businesses were without power, out of a total of 11 million, according to the specialty site PowerOutage.

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