MIAMI – About 25 percent of the buildings in the Florida Keys, where Hurricane Irma made landfall over the weekend as a Category 4 storm, were totally destroyed and 65 percent sustained extensive damage, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said Tuesday.
The situation in the string of islands in the southernmost United States is still being evaluated, but every building in the keys sustained some damage, Long said.
The powerful hurricane’s eye made landfall early Sunday on Cudjoe Key, packing winds of 215 kph (134 mph), the National Hurricane Center said.
At least 10 storm-related deaths have been reported in the US and numerous cities, including Miami, Miami Beach and Jacksonville, experienced flooding caused by storm surge.
After making landfall in the keys, Irma moved north, razing the southwest coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon before heading inland and losing strength.
On Monday, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm as it crossed Georgia and is now a post-tropical cyclone affecting Alabama.
FEMA has shipped nearly 2.4 million food rations and 1.4 million liters (370,000 gallons) of water to Florida and Georgia for people affected by Irma.
The federal agency urged authorities and the public to not relax despite Irma’s weakening since it continues to be a “dangerous” storm that may cause more flooding in the Southeast.