Ian could be 'deadliest hurricane in Florida history' - and remains 'life-threatening'
Created: 09/30/2022, 10:17 am
By: Hannes Niemeyer
Hurricane Ian has caused devastation in the USA, and there have been a number of deaths.
And the exact number of victims is still unclear.
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Miami – Hurricanes are not uncommon in the USA, but the people of Florida have certainly rarely experienced a hurricane of this magnitude.
Hurricane Ian has swept across the United States.
And has left a trail of devastation in its wake that is second to none.
In addition to a number of destroyed buildings and areas of land, the number of fatalities in connection with the storm is also increasing.
As the US broadcaster CNN and representatives of various local authorities reported on Thursday, at least twelve people were killed by the devastating storm.
After "Ian" temporarily weakened to a tropical storm, the US Hurricane Center NHC later reclassified it as a hurricane and continued to warn of "life-threatening, catastrophic" storm surges, strong winds and rain.
The storm was moving towards South Carolina.
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The hurricane is one of the strongest storms to ever hit the United States.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said it was too early to estimate how many people actually died as a result of the hurricane.
According to him, hundreds of people were still dependent on help from rescue workers.
The hurricane continued to move towards the states of Georgia and South and North Carolina on Thursday evening.
The entire coastal region of South Carolina and parts of Georgia and North Carolina were affected by the NHC's hurricane warning.
According to the NHC, the storm could strengthen again before making landfall.
It will likely "weaken rapidly" over the southeastern United States on Friday night.
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"Ian" had reached Florida on Wednesday afternoon with wind speeds of 240 kilometers per hour and caused severe devastation there.
Numerous buildings were destroyed, trees and power lines fell.
Flooding and destruction were mainly reported from the cities of Fort Myers and Naples.
An alleged shark video from Fort Myers caused a stir.
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Heavy destruction: Hurricane Ian raged in Florida.
© IMAGO/THOM BAUR
Whole neighborhoods in Naples were flooded.
TV pictures from there showed completely flooded streets with cars drifting.
Rescue workers were deployed in various areas with helicopters and boats to rescue people trapped by the water masses.
According to the website
, more than 2.6 million homes and businesses were without power.
US President Joe Biden warned on Thursday that it could be the "deadliest hurricane in Florida history": the death toll is still "unclear" but there could be "significant loss of life".
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke of damage of "historic" proportions and flooding that only occurs "every 500 years".
"We have never seen such a flood," said the conservative politician.
"We've never seen a storm surge of this magnitude." Some areas, like the city of Fort Myers on Florida's southwest coast, were "really flooded, really devastated by this storm."
In the run-up to the hurricane, experts had issued dramatic warnings, and a mandatory evacuation order applied to 2.5 million Florida residents.
National Weather Service chief Ken Graham called Ian a storm "we'll be talking about for years to come."
Air traffic at Tampa and Orlando airports has been suspended.
A hurricane hunter described his flight into the eye of the storm as the "worst of my career".
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At least two people had already died in the hurricane in Cuba.
The storm caused a nationwide power outage in the Caribbean country on Tuesday.
By Wednesday, power was restored in parts of the capital Havana and several provinces.
However, the hardest-hit regions in the west of the country remained in the dark.
According to scientists, human-caused global warming is leading to an increase in the number and intensity of tropical storms and cyclones.
Studies also suggest a link between climate change and extremely rapid intensification of tropical storms, with a relatively weak tropical storm reaching Category 3 hurricane or more within 24 hours.