Business Standard

Rescue efforts continue in US amid hurricane Michael devastation

IANS  |  Miami 

Amid the devastation caused by hurricane Michael, rescue operations in the have focused on Beach and Panama City, two towns that were nearly flattened and that could raise the death toll from the storm, which has taken at least 17 lives.

accompanied the on Saturday to survey the devastation by air, centering on the counties of Franklin, Holmes, and Gadsden, in the northwestern part of the state, where Michael made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, reports news.

The search for victims has been slow because numerous roads and highways have been blocked by rubble or destroyed, while cell phone service outages have prevented authorities and family members from locating missing people.

The destruction has been especially severe in Beach, where the water, sewage and were destroyed, which could take months to repair.

"Not one single store is left," Beach Mayor told the media.

Cathey himself had been unable to communicate with state authorities and has relied on brought by

Authorities have been inspecting every house and boat - or what is left of them - with the help of search and rescue dogs to find people who are unaccounted for.

Some 30 km west of Mexico Beach, the school has become the symbol of the devastation caused by Michael in this town, where residents began to return on Saturday to search for their belongings among the rubble.

So far, eight people have been reported dead in Florida, five in Virginia, three in and one person was killed in

Authorities, however, have not been able to identify any of the victims yet.

The death toll from Hurricane Michael is expected to increase, especially as rescue operations continue in Mexico Beach, one the hardest-hit towns.

Meanwhile, 750,000 homes and businesses continue to be without power in Florida, Virginia, and

Earlier this week, declared a state of emergency in Florida, which authorises the (DHS) and the (FEMA) to coordinate rescue efforts and make federal funding available to address the situation.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, October 14 2018. 08:40 IST