The impact of Hurricane Ian in the United States is devastating, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell said today.
In statements to the CNN channel, the agency also stressed that government-sponsored response and recovery efforts will take society at large to bring partners together and help people.
At least 66 people have died, according to a count on the chain Ian in Florida state, which he crossed last Wednesday with a category four on the Saffir-Simpson scale and where he left flooded areas to this day.
After delimiting the country’s east coast, the natural phenomenon arrived in South Carolina last Friday and the day before crossed through North Carolina, where authorities reported about four deaths in cyclone-related incidents.
However, the total death toll is still undetermined, which is typical of the early stages of a natural disaster, the New York Times points out.
Today, Ian moved northeast through Virginia as a weakened storm, bringing rain and a limited risk of flooding.
Many people in Florida lack electricity and clean water, and some communities remain completely isolated, making it difficult for first responders to reach victims.
Some residents of the state’s town of St. Cloud were ordered to evacuate this Sunday because of rising waters that reached areas that had never been flooded before.
River flooding caused by Ian’s passage, in turn, prompted an alligator alert, worrying residents in the city of Sarasota, where many roads are blocked.
US President Joe Biden issued directives prioritizing actions to save lives, ensure essential services are provided and support survivors.
Actions announced include debris removal and other reinforcement measures as part of the declaration of states of emergency for Florida and North Carolina, and helping the Seminole Tribe (native people of this northern nation) repair homes and businesses.
About 87,300 households have signed up for help, according to the White House, while search and rescue operations have helped more than 3,500 people and about 140 pets.
FEMA also activated an ambulance medical assistance contract and took steps focused on strengthening health care delivery while the country promotes assessments of the safety of bridges, highways and other infrastructure.
According to the PowerOutage.us portal, more than 854,000 customers are without power in the United States, most of them in Florida.
Although FEMA authorities warned that Ian could have catastrophic effects, there have been criticisms of people staying on the streets during the hurricane’s passage, as well as reports of evacuation delays. (Taken from Latin Press)