Irma toll jumps to 12 in Florida: official
SAUL LOEB (AFP)
Hurricane Irma killed at least 12 people in Florida when it cut a deadly path of destruction through the idyllic Key islands and deep inland in the southeastern US state, officials said Tuesday.
"Currently, the number of confirmed deaths attributable to Hurricane Irma stands at 12," Florida Division of Emergency Management spokesman Alberto Moscoso told AFP, as workers picked through the rubble left by the storm.
The storm has now killed at least 50 people across the Caribbean and the United States.
Shattered mobile homes, grounded sailboats and jumbled mounds of debris greeted Keys residents as police began lifting roadblocks to the islands following the passage of Hurricane Irma.
"We don't have much left," Patty Purdo, a 55-year-old waitress, said as she surveyed her home in the wreckage of the Seabreeze trailer park on the island of Islamorada.
European leaders visited the storm-ravaged Caribbean meanwhile amid criticism over relief efforts and the White House announced that President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, would visit Florida on Thursday.
Brock Long, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said Irma caused major damage in the Keys, a 120-mile (195-kilometer) string of islands off Florida's southern coast known for boating, scuba diving and fishing.
Ninety percent of the archipelago's homes have been destroyed or significantly damaged he said.
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Thank god I left when I could. What do people expect living in hurricane central?