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8 dead at Florida nursing home in Irma aftermath

8 dead at Florida nursing home in Irma aftermath”

Eight patients at a sweltering nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida's 4 million senior citizens amid widespread power outages that could go on for days.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities, and officials continued to assess damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the US mainland this year.

Elsewhere, Irma has been blamed for four deaths in SC and two in Georgia. Hurricane Irma made another landfall near Naples yesterday after inundating the Florida Keys. It then plowed north up the Gulf Coast of the state before dissipating.

The Hollywood center where the deaths occurred had earned a "below average" mark of two out of five stars from the nursing home rating system for Medicare, the USA health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, Medicare records showed.

Calls to the owner and other officials at the home were not immediately returned.

Early on Wednesday, several calls were placed to emergency services from the Hollywood nursing home.

He said investigators "have not ruled anything", including carbon monoxide from generators.

Authorities in Hollywood, Florida have launched a criminal investigation to determine the exact cause of the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. "It was very hot on the second floor".

After the outage, five women and three men ranging in age from 70 to 99 died at the Rehabilitation Center. More than 150 people were evacuated, many suffering from respiratory issues, dehydration and heat-related problems, according to Memorial Regional Hospital spokesman Randy Katz.

"We often see that injuries and deaths after disaster in the United States are more common than those actually caused by the disaster itself", Kirsch said. The chief also said investigators will look into how many windows were open in the nursing home, where the air conditioning wasn't working. He did not answer questions regarding whether a generator was running inside the place. And he ordered an investigation into what he called an "unfathomable" situation.

In the battered Florida Keys, meanwhile, county officials pushed back against a preliminary estimate from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that 25 per cent of all homes in the Keys were destroyed and almost all the rest were heavily damaged.

The storm has presented risks and challenges for the elderly population in Florida, where about 1 in 5 residents are age 65 or older.

U.S. President Donald Trump's homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said the federal government is working to help Florida Keys residents secure shelter through rental assistance, hotels or pre-manufactured housing. At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean.

People who fled their homes in hard-hit islands including St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands that were all but cut off from the world for days arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, late Tuesday.

"My house, my business, both my vehicles, everything is gone", said Benson, who was stopping in San Juan before continuing to Boston to seek refuge with his wife's brother.

Irma hit the United States about two weeks after Hurricane Harvey plowed into Houston, killing about 60 and causing some $180 billion in damage, mostly from flooding.



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