Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Death Toll From Hurricane Michael Climbs to 11

Death Toll From Hurricane Michael Climbs to 11

The death toll attributed to Hurricane Michael grew Friday to at least 13 people across four states, as officials ramped up recovery operations.

Ranked four on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and with a storm surge of 9ft (2.7m), it lifted homes from their foundations and heavily damaged others in districts closest to the sea in Mexico Beach, CNN helicopter footage showed.

"Before, it was paradise", Mexico Beach resident Lance Hanson told NPR's Greg Allen. "But it's different when you walk down and see this, and your emotions run away".

Albrecht, the Mexico Beach councilwoman, would like to return home, but she says the roads are impassible.

Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban, leader of a search-and-rescue unit that went into the flattened town, said: "There are individuals who are deceased".

Three deaths were reported in Marianna, in Jackson County, Florida, Sheriff Lou Roberts told a news conference on Friday afternoon.

Two people, including a child, were killed by falling debris.

Mexico Beach and Panama City were among the most devastated areas. "Having it available more broadly allows people to check on their property from afar and stay out of harm's way".

FEMA is using dogs, drones and global positioning satellites to search for survivors. "So many families have lost everything", said Florida Gov. Rick Scott, calling it "unimaginable destruction".

President Trump described the hurricane as "unbelievably destructive and powerful", contrasting it with last year's Hurricane Harvey, which caused in 106 US deaths and massive flooding as it drifted for a week between Texas and Louisiana.

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"Until now, heavy weapons have been removed from northern Hama and eastern Idlib " located in the proposed zone, he said. Government forces are stationed just five kilometers away in the town of Al-Hader, but the front is calm.

Michael snapped boats in two and hurled a large ship onto the shore, residents said.

Except for the emergency-911 system, authorities in Bay County, the epicentre of the disaster, were virtually without telephone or internet service until late in the day on Friday, making communications internally and with the public hard. "Everything's gone. I didn't even know our road was our road", said 25-year-old Tiffany Marie Plushnik, an evacuee who returned to find her home in Sandy Creek too damaged to live in. "We're doing what we can with the minimal media that we have".

As one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make US landfall, Hurricane Michael wrecked extensive damage, but the theme emerging Thursday was that a combination of deft forecasting, quick emergency response, and a fortuitous path prevented the disaster from being much worse. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Colin Hunt/Handout via REUTERS.

"It was just a freak accident, I never heard of anything like that", said her father, Roy Radney. Search teams were going door-to-door looking for victims. Unlike many storms, which form off the coast of Africa, Michael organized in the Caribbean, giving forecasters less time to track it before it made landfall. The whole area. they're going to tear down these houses and rebuild it.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Michael had moved into the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Norfolk, Virginia by early Friday morning.

Almost 950,000 homes and businesses were without power in Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia on Thursday.

The number of people in emergency shelters was expected to increase to 20,000 across five states by Friday, American Red cross spokesman Brad Kieserman said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it has conducted 129 rescues and one animal rescue.

Mexico Beach is on the west end of what is sometimes called Florida's Forgotten Coast, so named because it is not heavily developed like numerous state's other shoreline areas, with their lavish homes and high-rise condos and hotels. "Not all of that commercialism", said Dottie Sinclair, 57, a nurse, adding a Subway fast-food restaurant was the only commercial chain. "I just have to be hopeful that (the town) will be rebuilt and fixed".

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