Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina as nine people are confirmed dead in US

At least nine people were confirmed dead in the US, a number that was almost certain to increase as officials confirm more deaths and search for people
Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina as nine people are confirmed dead in US

Sammie Clark, 11, left, and Nevaeh Curran, 11, explore a flooded mobile home community in Iona, an unincorporated community in Lee County near Fort Myers on Thursday. Picture: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

Hurricane Ian made another landfall on Friday, this time in South Carolina, after carving a swathe of destruction across Florida earlier this week.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Ian’s centre went ashore on Friday near Georgetown, with maximum sustained winds of 135km/h.

Ian hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 240km/h winds on Wednesday, flooding homes and leaving nearly 2.7m people without power.

Before landfall, sheets of rain whipped trees and power lines and left many areas on Charleston’s peninsula under water by midday.

A popular pier in the beach community of Pawleys Island collapsed and floated away.

Damaged homes are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. Picture: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Damaged homes are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. Picture: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

In Myrtle Beach, waves were pushing against the city’s tourist area, flowing over where thousands of tourists typically fill the wide sandy stretch.

Ian left a broad swathe of destruction after it went ashore on Florida’s Gulf Coast as one of the strongest storms ever to hit the US.

The storm flooded areas on both of Florida’s coasts, tore homes from their slabs, demolished beachfront businesses and left more than two million people without power.

At least nine people were confirmed dead in the US, a number that was almost certain to increase as officials confirm more deaths and search for people.

Rescue crews piloted boats and waded through streets on Thursday to save thousands of people trapped amid flooded homes and buildings shattered by Hurricane Ian.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis said on Friday that rescue crews had gone door to door to over 3,000 homes in the hardest-hit areas.

“There’s really been a Herculean effort,” he said during a news conference in Tallahassee.

Climate change added at least 10% more rain to Hurricane Ian, according to a study prepared immediately after the storm, said its co-author, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab climate scientist Michael Wehner.

Flooded homes in Fort Myers, Florida (Steve Helber/AP)

Among those killed were an 80-year-old woman and a 94-year-old man who relied on oxygen machines that stopped working amid power cuts, as well as a a 67-year-old man who was waiting to be rescued who died after falling into rising water inside his home, authorities said.

Officials fear the death toll could rise substantially, given the wide territory swamped by the storm.

A man looks at the entrance of a parking garage at a street flooded by the waves that break on the Malecon in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Sept. 29. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A man looks at the entrance of a parking garage at a street flooded by the waves that break on the Malecon in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Sept. 29. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

At least three people were reported killed in Cuba after the hurricane struck there on Tuesday.

In Florida, businesses near Fort Myers Beach were completely razed, leaving twisted debris. Broken docks floated at odd angles beside damaged boats. Fires smouldered where houses once stood.

“I don’t know how anyone could have survived in there,” William Goodison said amid the wreckage of a mobile home park where he had lived for 11 years. He rode out the storm at his son’s house inland.

The hurricane tore through the park of about 60 homes, leaving many destroyed or mangled beyond repair, including Mr Goodison’s.

Hours after weakening to a tropical storm while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained strength on Thursday over the Atlantic.

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