Death toll from Hurricane Ian jumps to dozens in US

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As of Saturday evening, more than 30 people have been reportedly confirmed dead in the United States due to Hurricane Ian, including 28 in the southeastern most state of Florida.

Tallies from U.S. news houses are much higher, with the count of NBC News reaching 77 and CNN reporting 70.

No official death count has been released so far from state or federal officials.

At least 1,100 rescues have been made in Florida since Ian made landfall there as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters on Saturday.

Ian brought catastrophic storm surges, heavy rains and destructive winds, and dangerous flooding to both Florida’s coast and inland areas.

Ian made landfall in South Carolina as Category 1 hurricane on Friday afternoon and has weakened to a post-tropical cyclone.

US President Joe Biden said at the White House on Friday that Hurricane Ian “is likely to rank among the worst in the nation’s history.”

“We’re just beginning to see the scale of that destruction,” Biden added. “It’s going to take months, years to rebuild.”

Estimated losses from Ian’s wind and storm surges are between $28bn and $47bn, according to CoreLogic, a US research firm that estimates losses from natural disasters. 

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