Hurricane Irma: Florida launches huge relief operation


Strong winds and rain have been battering Florida
Search and rescue teams in Florida are swinging into action as daylight reveals the extent of damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

The huge storm weakened as it moved up the state’s western coast overnight but Miami and other urban areas have been battered and flooded.

In the islands of the Florida Keys, the local emergency manager has warned of a looming “humanitarian crisis”.

Media reports link at least four deaths to the storm.

Irma, which hit Florida as a category four hurricane on Sunday, has now been downgraded to a tropical storm.

It cut a devastating track across Caribbean islands, killing at least 38 people there.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said it was “going to take some time” before people could return to their homes.

Speaking as he went on an aerial tour of the Keys to survey the damage early on Monday, he said: “Power lines are down throughout the state. We’ve got roads that are impassable, so everybody’s got to be patient as we work through this.”

Before and after in Brickell, Miami

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