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Search, rescue operation underway as Ian´s death toll reaches 87

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Search, rescue operation underway as Ian´s death toll reaches 87

Washington, Oct 3 (Prensa Latina) As federal emergency management officials launched their largest ever search and rescue effort, death toll in Hurricane Ian's wake jumped to 87.

That figure, tallied by NBC News, was expected to rise as additional deaths were investigated for possible ties to last week’s storm.

Fatalities so far have included 83 in Florida, where Ian struck as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, and four in North Carolina, where the storm ended up after hammering the coast of South Carolina Friday.

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Deanne Criswell said FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams, the Coast Guard, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Defense will work with Florida officials to search for people who remain unaccounted for after Ian.

With rescue efforts underway and floodwaters receding in places filled with wrecked homes, local officials warned that the extent of the death and destruction left by Ian may be barely in sight.

On Sunday, portions of multiple Florida counties, including parts of Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Johns and Sarasota, remained under mandatory evacuation orders.

The number of utility customers without power in Florida and in other South Atlantic states remained well under 1 million Sunday: An estimated 746,049 households and businesses were without electricity in Florida early Sunday evening, according to PowerOutage.us.

Plus, Florida residents claimed to be facing hard times in getting fuel for their vehicles, while they remain with no access to drinking water or power supply.

Due to ravages caused by Ian, President Joe Biden, who will visit the region on Wednesday, declared the state of Florida as major disaster area.

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