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Hurricane Ian left a trail of devastation in Florida. Emergency services are trying to reach the state’s residents, but that’s difficult because of the high waters. Many fear deaths.
Ian is one of the most powerful storms that have ever hit the mainland United States. President Joe Biden fears Hurricane Ian will be the deadliest in Florida history. “The numbers are not clear, but we are hearing the first reports that may indicate significant loss of life.” He assured the state that the government in Washington would bear the full cost of emergency aid.
The hurricane had previously caused extensive damage in western Cuba. Then across the Gulf of Mexico to southwest Florida. There, the coast near the cities of Sarasota, Venice and Fort Myers received the strongest blows. Ian reached shore with winds of 240 km/h, crossed Florida on Wednesday evening and has now reached the Atlantic Ocean.
The hurricane is now moving toward South Carolina, where it is expected to make landfall on Friday noon. Then the water level rises, making the area more prone to flooding.
The natural disaster has left many Florida residents homeless:
Hurricane Ian leaves a trail of devastation in Florida
In a number of places in Florida, the water is still very high, sometimes between 2 and 3 metres. Even in Orlando, far from Florida, people saw water to the waist. In the affected areas, people do not know how to get out of their flooded homes without a boat.
Many are looking for victims in the area. At least ten people were killed in Charlotte County, an area on Florida’s west coast with a population of more than 140,000. An official confirms to the BBC. An unknown number of people were trapped in their homes by the floods.
Florida Governor DeSantis said at a news conference Thursday evening that there have been at least 700 rescues in the state in the aftermath of the storm. Most are operated by air, by the US Coast Guard. It is unclear when the water will recede. More than 2 million people in Florida are without electricity. According to electrical companies, it can sometimes take days to weeks before the damage is repaired.
President Biden declared the destruction of Ian a major disaster. As a result, residents of affected areas can claim financial and other assistance, such as temporary shelter and repair of their homes.
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