HUR­RI­CANE MICHAEL DEATH TOLL: 17

Manila Times - - World -

The death toll from Hur­ri­cane Michael has risen to at least 17 with fears it would con­tinue to climb Satur­day as search-and-res­cue teams scour the de­bris of the Florida town that bore the brunt of the mon­ster storm. “Mex­ico Beach is dev­as­tated,” Florida Gov­er­nor Rick Scott said of the town where Michael made land­fall as a Cat­e­gory 4 storm on Wed­nes­day. “It’s like a bomb went off,” Scott said as he toured the town of 1,000 peo­ple on the Gulf of Mex­ico. “It’s like a war zone.” Res­cue teams were us­ing snif­fer dogs in Mex­ico Beach on Fri­day to search for vic­tims who may be buried un­der the rub­ble in the de­bris-strewn com­mu­nity. US me­dia later re­ported one death in the town -- an el­derly man found alone, ac­cord­ing to Mayor Al Cathey. Of­fi­cials said his body was found hun­dreds of yards from his home. Brock Long, head of the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency (FEMA), warned that he ex­pected the toll to rise. “I hope we don’t see it climb dra­mat­i­cally but I have rea­sons to be­lieve we still haven’t got into some of the hard­est hit ar­eas,” he said. Dozens of struc­tures in Mex­ico Beach -- homes, shops and restau­rants -- were lifted off their foun­da­tions by storm surge and 155 miles per hour (250 kph) winds and moved hun­dreds of feet in­land or smashed to bits.

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