Over 30 people have been reportedly confirmed dead. Tallies from U.S. outlets are much higher, with the count of NBC News reaching 77.
On Saturday night, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre announced that the U.S. President Joe Biden announced that he will travel to Puerto Rico on Monday and to the state of Florida on Wednesday to assess on the ground the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
Last week, Biden had already mentioned that he would travel to Puerto Rico but he did not specify a date. He also mentioned that he wanted to meet with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who sounds like a possible Republican candidate for the 2024 election.
As of Saturday evening, over 30 people have been reportedly confirmed dead in the United States due to Hurricane Ian. Tallies from U.S. news houses are much higher, with the count of NBC News reaching 77 and CNN reporting 70. No official death count, however, has been released so far from state or federal officials.
At least 1,100 rescues have been made in Florida since Ian made landfall there as a Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday afternoon, DeSantis said on Saturday.
Ian brought catastrophic storm surges, heavy rains, and destructive winds, and dangerous flooding to both Florida's coast and inland areas. Ian made landfall in South Carolina as Category 1 hurricane on Friday afternoon and has weakened to a post-tropical cyclone.
On Friday, Biden said that Hurricane Ian is likely to rank among the worst in the nation's history. "We're just beginning to see the scale of that destruction. It's going to take months, years to rebuild," he acknowledged.
Estimated losses from Ian are between US$28 billion and US$47 billion, according to CoreLogic, a U.S. research firm that estimates losses from natural disasters.