Hurricane Irma: Florida launches huge relief operation

Hurricane IrmaRelief operations are under way in Florida, as the extent of the damage from Hurricane Irma becomes clear.

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

Six million homes – 62% of the entire state – are without power. In the islands of the Florida Keys, officials have warned of a “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 37 people there.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said it was “going to take some time” before people could return to their homes, theĀ Miami Herald website reports.

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.”

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