Death toll rises to 23 from Hurricane Ian in Florida, USA | News

Authorities from the state of Florida, United States (USA), reported this Friday that there were 23 deaths related to Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in that territory last Wednesday.

READ ALSO:

Ian turns back into a hurricane

Local media reported that the spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, David Fierro, stated that there are 23 deaths in the state as a result of Ian, and they do not rule out that the number will increase in the coming hours.

Hours earlier, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Kevin Guthrie, indicated that the death of one person in Polk County was confirmed, but at that time it had not been determined if the other 20 deaths are directly related to the hurricane, reported in Charlotte and Collier counties.

“People die during disasters, but not all of those deaths are from direct causes,” the official told a news conference.

For his part, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis explained that more than 700 people have been rescued in the affected counties, with Lee County being the most affected.

DeSantis has warned that water levels are likely to continue to rise in what he called “basically a flood event (never seen) in 500 years.”

The day before, US President Joe Biden said Ian could end up being “the deadliest hurricane in Florida history.”

Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida on September 28 with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h).

Although it was later downgraded to a tropical storm, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Thursday that it had strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane, threatening Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.