Irma: Five dead at Florida nursing home left without power


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Media captionFlorida nursing home survivors evacuated

Five people at a Florida nursing home that was left without power for days after Hurricane Irma have died.

Police evacuated 115 residents on Wednesday from the facility, whose air conditioning was cut by the storm.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said three were found dead at the nursing home in the city of Hollywood. Two others died upon reaching hospital.

Ten million people are still without power in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas after Hurricane Irma.

The storm – which has claimed more than two dozen lives in the US – struck southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a category four hurricane before weakening to a tropical depression on Monday.

Irma earlier left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, where nearly 40 people were killed.

Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills facility has been sealed off and police are conducting a criminal investigation.

“It may be related to a loss of power in the storm,” he said, adding that officers were checking in on 42 other assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the city.

Rescue crews saw “a number of people in respiratory distress” when they arrived at the Hollywood Hills facility on Wednesday morning, another official said.

The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma.

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Media captionThe Florida Keys was one of the US areas hit hardest by Irma

More than half of a large retirement community in Pembroke Pines, Florida, still had no electricity by Wednesday morning, leaving elderly residents stuck in rooms with no access to lifts.

Pembroke Pines police spokeswoman Amanda Conwell told the Miami Herald that officers were at the scene.

She said some of the 15,000 residents at Century Village were vulnerable and “we are concerned about their welfare”.

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Media captionThe BBC’s correspondents in the region chart Irma’s path of destruction

Another assisted care facility for dementia patients in Fort Myers, Florida, went without power for three days after Hurricane Irma as elderly patients suffered in the rising heat.

Cape Coral Shores kept 20 patients during the storm as part of an agreement with authorities because local emergency shelters had been evacuated as Irma bore down on the coast.

Florida residents are still returning from shelters to their households to count the cost of Irma’s destruction.

Authorities say preliminary estimates suggest 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65% sustained major damage.

US President Donald Trump will visit Florida on Thursday to view the damage.

It will be his third trip related to hurricanes in two weeks and he will be joined by his wife Melania, the first lady.

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Media captionAerial footage shows the damage to homes in Orlando, Florida


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