Tuesday 1st December 2020

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  • Hurricane Irma: Two-thirds of Florida without power

    11 September -About 6.5 million homes in Florida, two-thirds of the total, are without power after Hurricane Irma cut a deadly path through the state, officials say.

    Relief operations are under way and engineers are working to restore power, but many areas remain stranded.

    The islands of the Florida Keys and western parts of the US state bore the brunt of the category-four hurricane.

    Irma hit Florida on Sunday, before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved north on Monday.

    Media reports link at least four deaths to the storm in Florida. Last week it killed at least 37 people in Caribbean islands.

    White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said it will be some time before residents in the Florida Keys are able to return to their homes.

    “I would expect that the Keys are not fit for re-entry for regular citizenry for weeks”, he said.

    Speaking as he went on an aerial tour of the Keys, Florida Governor Rick Scott said: “Power lines are down throughout the state. We’ve got roads that are impassable, so everybody’s got to be patient as we work through this.”

    The Keys are cut off from the mainland, as the 42 bridges that link them are being assessed for damage. Reports say that 10,000 people decided to ride out the storm.

    At 18:00 GMT, its centre had moved into southern Georgia.

    How have residents felt the impact?

    “We feel the building swaying all the time,” restaurant owner Deme Lomas told Reuters news agency by phone from his 35th-floor apartment in Miami.

    At least four deaths have been connected to the storm:

    Some 6.3 million people in the state were told to evacuate before Irma arrived.

    Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport were closed on Monday.

    Night-time curfews have been imposed in areas such as Miami, where 13 people were arrested on suspicion of looting.

    Which areas were hit before Florida?

    Irma is the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, and caused widespread destruction on several Caribbean islands:

     

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