WASHINGTON – US authorities confirmed on Friday five deaths caused by Hurricane Michael in Virginia, increasing the total number of fatalities from the storm to 11.
“Virginia storm updates as of 7 am today. 5 confirmed Michael-related fatalities. 520,000 without power. 1,200 closed roads. 5 suspected tornadoes,” the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said on Twitter.
These new deaths are in addition to the six fatalities that were previously reported, including four in Florida, one in North Carolina and one in Georgia, where an 11-year-old girl died when a metal structure hit her head after crashing into the roof of her home.
A much-weakened Michael exited the US East Coast early Friday and is now over the Atlantic Ocean, but areas in North Carolina and Virginia continue to experience potentially damaging wind gusts, the National Hurricane Center said.
More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in five states are without power on Friday due to the ravages of the hurricane.
Michael made landfall on Wednesday near Mexico Beach, Florida, as the third-strongest hurricane to hit the continental United States, with maximum sustained winds of 250km/h (150mph).
This led President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster in the area to make federal funding available to those affected.