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Hurricane Ian: death toll raised to 44, Joe Biden visits Florida


The US president will also travel to Puerto Rico on Monday, hit earlier in September by another weather monster, Fiona.

The death toll continues to rise in Florida after Hurricane Ian hit.

The latest report to date, this Sunday, reports at least 44 deaths in this state in the southern United States.

"There are now 44 deaths attributed to Hurricane Ian," the Florida Department of Forensic Medicine said.

Most are related to drownings.

The vast majority are elderly people.

President Joe Biden and his wife Jill are due to go there on Wednesday to see the damage.

They will also go on Monday to Puerto Rico, devastated in September by another hurricane, Fiona.


A gang of “cowboys” rescues an elderly man trapped in his flooded car

In Florida, Lee County, heavily hit by Ian, alone has recorded 35 deaths, according to its sheriff.

American media, including NBC and CBS, have recorded more than 70 deaths directly or indirectly linked to the storm.

The controversy swells around the late arrival of the evacuation order for the more than 600,000 inhabitants of this area.

The order would have been given Tuesday morning, while neighboring counties asked their residents to evacuate on Monday, says the New York Times.

"The evacuation orders came very late," said a 43-year-old man.

“But most of the people who are still there wouldn't have left anyway.

It's a very working place.

And most people have nowhere to go, that's the biggest problem,” he adds.

"Historic" damage and "years to rebuild"

At the same time, the search continues to find 16 passengers of a migrant boat which capsized due to bad weather on Wednesday near the Keys archipelago.

The Coast Guard said it found two people from the boat dead in the water, with nine others rescued either offshore or after swimming to shore.

After ravaging Florida, Ian headed for South Carolina, where it made landfall Friday afternoon near Georgetown as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of up to 140 km/h.

Despite Ian's weakening, authorities in several states are still urging the public to be cautious due to the heavy rainfall expected.

This Sunday morning, Ian remains a tropical depression and is dissipating over Virginia.

In Florida, in addition to the heavy human toll, the material damage is "historic", the level reached by the rising waters having been unprecedented, according to Governor Ron DeSantis.

In this state, “we are only just beginning to see the extent of the destruction, likely to rank among the worst” in the history of the United States, said President Joe Biden.

“It will take months, years to rebuild,” he lamented.


In Florida, cities devastated by Hurricane Ian

In the coastal town of Fort Myers, called an “epicenter” by Ron DeSantis, a handful of restaurants and bars have reopened and dozens of people have sat outside, offering residents a semblance of normalcy between broken trees and facades destroyed.

“It was pretty terrible, but we held on.

The roof of our house was blown off, a big tree collapsed on top of our cars, our garden was flooded, but other than that it's fine,” says Dylan Gamber, 23, welcoming the solidarity that reigned among neighbours.

According to initial estimates, the passage of Hurricane Ian could cost insurers tens of billions of dollars and will weigh on American growth, in particular due to flight cancellations and damage to agricultural production.

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2022-10-02

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