HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA — The death toll from Hurricane Irma continues to climb, with officials now saying that at least 23 people have been killed in the US — 16 in Florida, 4 in South Carolina, and 3 in Georgia.
In Hollywood, FL, at least six people at a nursing home died, and more than 100 others were evacuated to other facilities due to medical distress.
“At this time we have other patients in critical care,” said Hollywood police chief Tomas Sanchez. “Right now the building has been sealed off. We’re conducting a criminal investigation inside. We believe, at this time, they may be related to the loss of power and the storm, but we’re conducting a criminal investigation, not ruling anything out at this time.”
Irma has also injured dozens; including 40 in the Key West — one of the hardest hit areas.
Authorities say for most Florida Key residents, recovery from Irma will be long and arduous.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, says 25% of the houses on the archipelago are destroyed, and about 65% are damaged.
About 3.8 million people in the sunshine state are still without power in scorching temperatures. In the next several days, it will be 90 degrees in parts of central and southern Florida.
“We actually evacuated. We left not knowing how bad it was going to be. We’ve been out of power. We got back yesterday. I don’t know how long because we just got back yesterday. I don’t know,” said Rachel Cob.
Because of massive flooding and power outages, business establishments all over the state have had to temporarily close shop.
“Nawalan po kami ng kuryente tapos bumaha dito,” said Manila Bakery workers Marjoe and Jade. “For two days po, nawalan kami ng ilaw so wala po kaming business for two days.”
Customers flock to businesses that stay open, especially those that sell bread and cooked food.
Despite having to deal with destruction and deaths in their communities, Pinoy Floridians are trying to bounce back with a resilient spirit kababayans are known for.