Thousands of people reported missing after Hurricane Michael

Thousands of people reported missing after Hurricane Michael

Thousands of people reported missing after Hurricane Michael

Efforts to find survivors in the rubble caused by Hurricane Michael have begun while the death toll from one of the most powerful storms in history has risen to 12 across four states.

Further details were not immediately available.

More than 900,000 homes and businesses in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas are without power in the wake of Hurricane Michael. "We are working very hard on every area and every state that was hit - we are with you!"

In total, Michael caused over 2.6 million outages since hitting the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour).

USA media on Friday quoted authorities in Jackson County, Florida, as reporting three deaths there, bringing Michael's toll to at least 16.

"It seems that all the areas from Panama city to Mexico beach has suffered much more than anyone expected, said the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, in an interview with ABS".

Then, as Michael blew through Virginia as a tropical storm, authorities said five people there were killed, including four who drowned and a firefighter whose truck was struck by a tractor-trailer as he responded to an accident in heavy storm conditions.

The death toll from Hurricane Michael rose to at least 16 on Friday amid fears it would continue to climb as search-and-rescue teams scour the debris of the Florida town that bore the brunt of the monster storm.

Rescue teams were using sniffer dogs in Mexico Beach on Friday in a search for victims who may be buried under the rubble in the debris-strewn community.

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"We have shelters open (and) as long as there's a need they're going to stay open", he said.

"We are still in the heat of search and rescue and do not have any information at this time", said Catie Feeney of the Bay County Emergency Services agency.

She said local television stations were knocked off the air for two days, and authorities were relying on the Gulf State College radio station to broadcast public service bulletins.

NOTHING LEFT. Kevin Guaranta carries an American flag he found as he walks on the foundations of what were homes that were demolished after Hurricane Michael passed through Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 12, 2018.

Michael intensified surprisingly fast into a Category 4 hurricane before hitting land, forcing residents and church leaders to expedite their preparations and evacuations. "I was sure it would be here", Daniel said.

"We were going to establish a mortuary location".

Nearly 1.2 million homes and businesses were without power from Florida to Virginia on Thursday. The Coast Guard reported rescuing 129 people.

In one community, Panama City, most homes were still standing, but no property was left undamaged.

Dough Shelby looks from his house to the destruction in Mexico Beach. "People will just pack up and leave".

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