Agency, 11 October : The most powerful hurricane ever to hit north-west Florida has flooded beach towns, submerging homes and snapping trees like twigs.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a category three storm with 125mph (200km/h) winds in the state’s Panhandle region.
One person was killed by a falling tree, Florida officials say. The storm left nearly 500,000 people without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia, emergency services say.
Michael was so powerful that it remained a hurricane as it moved further inland. Its rapid intensification caught many by surprise, although the storm later weakened.
Unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico turbo-charged the storm from a tropical depression on Sunday. It was a category two hurricane by Tuesday, and a borderline category five on Wednesday morning, packing 155mph winds.
Florida Governor Rick Scott warned of “unimaginable devastation”, saying it would be the worst storm in 100 years.
Michael reportedly killed at least 13 people in Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador. More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate, but officials reckon many ignored the warning.
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