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Hurricane 'Ian' leaves a trail of devastation and dozens of dead in Florida

2022-09-30T20:12:18.764Z

Entire areas of houses have been wiped off the map by the 250-kilometer-per-hour winds and the storm surge that raised the water level by about six meters.



The sun shines bright in West Florida three days after Hurricane Ian landed.

The outlook, however, is bleak.

At ground zero of the impact — Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties, on the southwestern coast of the peninsula — rescue teams are trying to help the victims.

There is already news of more than twenty deaths, but it is feared that the tragic count will continue to rise.

The material damage is incalculable.

It's hard to measure, but it's likely the biggest natural disaster in Florida history.

"The reconstruction is going to take months, years," said the president of the United States, Joe Biden.

The force of the storm surge at ground zero caused the waters to recede further north in Tampa, exposing part of the bay's surface.

While there the inhabitants walked curiously on the algae, the stones and the sand, in Fort Myers and Naples the tidal wave entered the city with the force of a tsunami.

The withdrawal of the sea has left an apocalyptic landscape.

Dozens of boats, some of them of considerable size, are perched on the streets, sometimes piled up next to cars or embedded against buildings.

There are entire areas of houses erased from the map due to the combined effect of the 250-kilometer-per-hour winds with a tidal wave that raised the usual water level by about six meters, turning the streets into rivers, covering squares, avenues with a blanket of water. and houses.

Uprooted trees, demolished houses and destroyed buildings are seen in the images that come from the area.

Floods still inundate large areas of the state.

Aerial view of a destroyed highway after the passage of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida. DPA via Europa Press (DPA via Europa Press)

House fire in Sanibel, Florida, the day after Hurricane Ian hit.

DPA via Europa Press (DPA via Europa Press)

Aerial view of a residential area devastated by Hurricane Ian in Sanibel, Florida. DPA via Europa Press (DPA via Europa Press)

A man helps a woman out of a vandalized home in Fort Myers.

Hurricane 'Ian' has left behind a trail of flooding, power outages and property damage as it traversed Florida.

BEAUTIFUL FRAME (REUTERS)

Aerial view of the town of Fort Myers after the hurricane.

Authorities in Volusia County, northeast of Orlando, have confirmed the death of one person after Hurricane Ian passed through Florida.

RICARDO ARDUENGO (AFP)

A man talks on the phone next to a ship that was stranded on the dock at Port Sanibel, near Fort Myers.

US President Joe Biden warned Thursday that Hurricane Ian may have been the deadliest in Florida history and said he will travel to the site "when conditions allow."

Amy Beth Bennett (AP)

Aerial view of the Sanibel causeway, collapsed by the passage of the hurricane.

Florida had evacuated some 2.5 million inhabitants from its western coast after the two deaths and the total blackout that it left behind after passing through Cuba.

SHANNON STAPLETON (REUTERS)

Some children play in a flooded street.

The hurricane, after weakening to a tropical storm on Thursday, strengthened again at the last minute to a category 1 hurricane and is headed for the coast of South Carolina.

It is expected to make landfall again in the vicinity of the city of Charleston.Rebecca Blackwell (AP)

Boats dragged after the passage of the hurricane in the San Carlos area, in Fort Myers (Florida).

The preliminary figures of deaths from the destruction caused by Hurricane 'Ian' in Florida rise to at least 15 people, according to various US media such as CNN, which has made a balance this Thursday based on information from local authorities.

Rebecca Blackwell (AP)

Two women look at the damage to their father's home in Charlotte Harbor.

The governor of California, Gavin Newson, announced this Thursday the dispatch of emergency personnel to Florida, the state most affected so far by the passage of hurricane 'Ian'. BRYAN R. SMITH (AFP)

Wrecked boats on Fort Myers Beach in the aftermath of the hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center has warned of the danger in the eastern areas of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida due to the passage of 'Ian'.JOE RAEDLE (AFP)

Two agents of the emergency services search for survivors on a street in Fort Myers. RICARDO ARDUENGO (AFP)

Aerial view of a road covered by sand, after the passage of 'Ian', in Fort Myers Beach.

JOE RAEDLE (AFP)

Several people paddle in a canoe next to a submerged car after the passage of Hurricane 'Ian' in Orlando. JIM WATSON (AFP)

An aerial photo shows the damage caused to homes after the passage of the hurricane in Bonita Shores. TANNEN MAURY (EFE)

An Orange County lifeguard makes her way through the water in search of survivors, this Thursday in Orlando. Phelan M. Ebenhack (AP)

'Ian' made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a category 4 hurricane (on a scale of 5) in southwestern Florida, before continuing its path through the state, with strong winds and torrential rain.

In the image, the aftermath of the hurricane around the Fort Myers area.- (AFP)

Emergency services carry a resident of the Avante nursing home on a stretcher after Hurricane Ian hit Orlando. John Raoux (AP)

Damaged houses and debris after the passage of Hurricane 'Ian', in Fort Myers Beach.Wilfredo Lee (AP)

The force of the storm has carried away sections of the bridges that linked the islands of Pine and Captiva with the mainland, in which some inhabitants disobeyed evacuation orders.

Even the geography of those islands that received the full impact has changed as a result of the hurricane.

The mystery of fatalities

The great unknown that

Ian

has still left as he passes through Florida is the number of fatalities.

The director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Kevin Guthrie, has estimated that Friday at 21 the deaths that have been reported so far, although he has said that only one of them is fully confirmed.

The chaos caused by a hurricane and the disparity in accounting criteria mean that the number of deaths is not easy to determine.

In the information on previous hurricanes, the different sources do not coincide and many choose to speak of dozens of deaths.

The deadliest and most destructive hurricane in recent US history was

Katrina,

with more than 1,800 deaths, but it took months for that number to be reached.

In a press conference after meeting with the Governor of the State, Ron DeSantis, Guthrie has indicated that the confirmed death occurred in Polk County, in the interior of Florida.

He has also said that there were unconfirmed reports of another 12 deaths in Charlotte County, the area where the hurricane entered and where Punta Gorda is, and eight more in Collier County, where Naples is.

Explaining the difference between confirmed and unconfirmed deaths, he explained: “There are people who die in disasters who have nothing to do with the disasters, so medical examiners have to determine whether or not the deaths are related to the disaster. ”.

In Florida, about 500 people die every day.

The authorities expect the figure to rise and it will probably take weeks to have a definitive balance.

Guthrie himself has given the example of a house covered in water up to the roof where what is believed to be a submerged body has been seen.

“We have a diver who has to enter and identify if he is a diver”, he has said to illustrate the difficulty of specifying the number of victims.

“We don't know exactly how many, we don't know what the situation is and before we comment... We want to be transparent, but we just don't know the number.

And we have some more similar situations”, he added.

In addition to the direct victims, there are the indirect ones, for not having been able to receive treatment or similar causes.

That 21 death toll also doesn't include a 72-year-old man who drowned when he went out to drain his pool during the storm in Deltona, near Orlando.

Not even the victims of Lee County, where the sheriff first spoke of “hundreds” of dead, only to later say in another interview that there were “about five”, a figure that has not been verified either.

However, the impact in that county was so strong that it is feared that there are also many victims.

Biden promises help

Already on Thursday, the president of the United States, Joe Biden, warned of the seriousness and pointed out that “this could be the deadliest hurricane in the history of Florida”, which would imply reaching several dozen deaths.

This Friday, Biden has promised more support and assistance and has said that "this is not a crisis in Florida, but a crisis throughout the United States."

There are still many flooded areas, much debris to remove and many areas to review.

Authorities are still coming to the rescue of citizens who made calls for help in the coastal part of Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral, where there are still many isolated areas.

Crews have rescued hundreds of people.

Biden has given the example of a 94-year-old woman and a one-month-old baby being hoisted into a helicopter in two separate operations.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has indicated this Friday that more than 250 shelters have been put into operation in Florida that serve more than 33,300 people.

Their teams have delivered 1.1 million meals and 1.6 million liters of water and are preparing to distribute another 6.6 million liters of water and 5.5 million meals.

The supply of electricity and water continues to fail in large areas of the State.

There are still about two million homes without electricity.

The blackouts affect more than 80% of the points in some of the most affected counties, in which the water supply is not working at all.

A dozen airports (and twenty ports) are closed, although Miami has maintained its operations and Tampa has opened this Friday.

According to FEMA, more than 44,000 members of its relief teams are assessing the damage and making repairs, with additional teams ready to join if time allows.

The material damage is incalculable.

The financial rating firm Fitch estimates that only insurers in Florida will have to face compensation in the amount of 25,000 to 40,000 million dollars, according to a preliminary report published this Thursday.

To these figures we must add all the uninsured goods and the cost of the rescue, debris removal and cleaning work.

That compares with the 65,000 million that they had to face in 2005 for Katrina, the deadliest and most destructive of the hurricanes that have hit the United States in recent history, and with the 36,000 million in compensation for

Ida

, in 2021, according to the agency.

After its devastating passage through Florida, the eye of the hurricane has reached the coast of South Carolina this Friday, although with less force.

The storm will move inland and reach North Carolina and Virginia this weekend, losing more and more intensity, according to predictions.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-09-30

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