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Hurricane Ian strengthens after hitting Florida; significant damage and 15 deaths reported so far

Hurricane Ian regained strength after hitting Florida. The deadly storm is now approaching Carolina and is expected to weaken by Saturday

Hurricane Ian strengthens after hitting Florida; significant damage and 15 deaths reported so far

New Delhi: Hurricane Ian, which made landfall in the US state of Florida on Wednesday, September 29, has left more than 2.5 million homes and businesses without electricity, according to media sources. According to local police, a 72-year-old man who fell into a canal in the city of Deltona died as a result of the storm, while rescuers are searching for missing people. Hurricane Ian has reportedly regained strength after inflicting significant damage on Florida. 15 people have been reported dead, according to a news agency, across southwest and central Florida due to the lethal hurricane.

According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory issued on Thursday, Ian is approaching the states of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia with life-threatening flooding, storm surge, and powerful winds, according to Xinhua news agency. The storm is expected to hit the coast of South Carolina on Friday before moving inland over the Carolinas on Friday night and Saturday.

Ian is forecasted to strengthen slightly before landfall on Friday before rapidly weakening across the southeastern United States late Friday into Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 120 km/h.

It made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon, delivering devastating storm surges, heavy rainfall, and destructive winds, as well as severe floods to both the coast and interior areas.

On Thursday, US Vice President Joe Biden referred Hurricane Ian as the deadliest storm in Florida history. "The statistics are still uncertain," Biden said during a visit to the offices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C. "However, we're hearing early reports of a significant loss of life."

According to PowerOutage.us, approximately 2.5 million consumers in Florida were without power as of Thursday evening. The catastrophic Hurricane has also trapped people in flooded homes, cut off the only bridge to a barrier island, and destroyed a historic waterfront pier.

Ian made landfall on Wednesday near Cayo Costa, a barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers, as a Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph (241 kph) winds, tying it for the fifth-strongest hurricane, when measured by wind speed, ever to strike the US. Ian's centre came ashore more than 100 miles (160 kilometres) south of Tampa and St. Petersburg, sparing them their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921. Water drained from Tampa Bay as it approached, then returned with a surge.
 

(With agency inputs)

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