- Borislav Ivanov
As Hurricane Ian intensifies, the death toll mounts.
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, which wreaked havoc throughout the US state of Florida, a massive search and rescue operation is still underway.
Credit: Wilfredo Lee
At least ten people have died in the state, but authorities worry the confirmed death toll may grow significantly. Joe Biden has warned that the category one storm might be the worst in Florida history, with "significant loss of life." Ian is now heading inland, towards North and South Carolina.
A blackout continues to impact 2.2 million Florida homes and businesses. The floods have been so severe that some people have been trapped in their houses, according to authorities, with the National Guard going door to door in Orlando to rescue those who have been stranded. The ten confirmed fatalities occurred entirely in southwest Charlotte County, which experienced heavy winds.
According to Joseph Tiseo, a municipal commissioner, the region saw a "tremendous wind event that lasted for 12 hours straight... it was brutal."
Residents of the Sun Seekers mobile home park in North Fort Myers described their panic as they attempted to shelter themselves with blankets.
Hurricane Ian hit Cuba first, causing a total blackout in the country on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the major clean-up effort in Puerto Rico continues after the storm devastated the Caribbean Island last week. Puerto Rico was already recovering from Hurricane Fiona, a category one hurricane that slammed into the island only days before, on September 18.
There was also a power outage, and more than 269,000 homes are still without power after ten days.