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Hurricane Ian death toll surpasses 100

Hurricane Ian’s death toll has climbed into the triple digits, with residents of Florida warned that the recovery effort could take years.

October 7, 2022
By Stephen Smith and Bobby Caina Calvan
7 October 2022

The number of storm-related deaths from Hurricane Ian has risen to at least 101, eight days after the storm made landfall in southwest Florida. 

According to reports on Thursday from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission, 98 of those deaths were in Florida. Five people were also killed in North Carolina, three in Cuba and one in Virginia.

Ian is the second-deadliest storm to hit the mainland US in the 21st century behind Hurricane Katrina, which left more than 1800 people dead in 2005. The deadliest hurricane ever to hit the US was the Great Galveston Hurricane in 1900 that killed as many as 8000 people.

Ian, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 240km/h, unleashed torrents of rain and caused extensive flooding and damage. The deluge turned streets into gushing rivers. Backyard waterways overflowed into neighbourhoods, sometimes by more than 3.5 metres, tossing boats onto yards and roadways. Beaches disappeared, as ocean surges pushed shorelines far inland.

The storm caused billions of dollars in damage and killed dozens of people, the majority of victims in Florida. Even a week after it passed through, officials warn that more dead could still be found as they continued to inspect the damage.

President Joe Biden toured some of Florida’s hurricane-hit areas on Wednesday, surveying damage by helicopter. He emphasised at a briefing with local officials that the recovery effort could take years.

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