Hurricane Irma: Death toll reaches 50 in Florida, say officials

A woman surveys the damage to her mother’s house following Hurricane Irma in Big Pine Key, Florida, US, September 18, 2017. (Source: REUTERS) Related News

The toll from Hurricane Irma in the US state of Florida stood at 50 dead on Monday as officials tallied up the victims of the mega-storm, which ripped through The Florida Division of Emergency Management put the official toll at 34, but it excluded eight known deaths in the Keys and eight more in a nursing home in Hollywood, north of Miami. Those deaths put the toll state-wide to 50.

Alberto Moscoso, spokesman for the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the deaths in the Keys were not included because Monroe County, which includes the hard-hit island chain south of Miami, had yet to file its official count. The Monroe County Twitter account posted it had recorded eight deaths Wednesday — although the Miami Herald reported nine.

At least a quarter of houses in the Keys were destroyed, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) –while 65 per cent of buildings suffered damage. Some 372,000 people were still without power in Florida today after 15 million suffered outages during the storm.

People select items they want from donated items for Hurricane Irma victims in Marathon, Florida, US, September 18, 2017. (Source: REUTERS)

Irma also killed at least another 40 people in the Caribbean before hitting the Keys September 10 as a Category Four hurricane with winds of 295 kilometres per hour, and then barrelling up the length of the state.

Now, the Caribbean is bracing for Hurricane Maria –which was upgraded to a Category Four storm today. Maria is expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico tomorrow before heading north.

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