A dozen deaths now reported in Florida
US media report that about a dozen residents in south-west and central Florida may now be dead as a result of Hurricane Ian.
Six of deaths have been confirmed in Charlotte County, commissioner Chris Constance told CNN.
One person who was in hospice care in Osceola County has also died, a local emergency management official told the channel.
Earlier, officials in Volusia County confirmed that one man, aged 74, had died as a result of the hurricane while trying to drain his pool.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno has also told CNN that about five people are believed to have died in the county.
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Posted at 0:250:25
Why Ian will strengthen over the Atlantic
BBC News, Washington
Tropical Storm Ian has already begun its journey over the Atlantic Ocean as it continues to travel west towards North and South Carolina.
The storm is passing over the Gulf Stream – a warm and fast-moving ocean current that travels north along the east coast of Florida.
The path is ideal for super-charging a hurricane, says Hugh Willoughby, a meteorology professor at Florida International University.
“Hurricanes derive their energy from warm ocean water and the Gulf Stream is sort of the warmest ocean water around,” he told the BBC.
But while the Carolinas are expected to be hit, they will likely face a weaker storm than Cuba and Florida have endured.
“They get hit more than we do in Florida but the storms aren’t as strong,” Willoughby said. “Unless we’re very, very unlucky it won’t be as intense as in Florida.”