This is what Hurricane Michael looks like from space

Hurricane Michael claimed its first life after roaring ashore in Florida on Wednesday, flooding homes and streets and toppling trees and power lines in the Gulf of Mexico beachfront area where it made landfall as a raging Category 4 storm.

Forecasters say Michael was upgraded to a Category 2 storm Tuesday morning, and it could make landfall as a Category 3. It strengthened to a Category 3 storm late Tuesday afternoon.

As predicted, the storm's intensity diminished steadily as it pushed inland and curled northeasterly into Georgia after dark.

Florida officials said a man was killed when he was crushed by a tree in Gadsden County.

"We've been through this before", Sally Crown said she closed the cafe where she works because the city was shutting off the sewer system in anticipation of the storm.

A video posted on Twitter showed winds ripping apart a house on Mexico Beach, its debris washing up to adjacent properties.

Long said several hospitals in the Panhandle were hit by the hurricane and patients had to be evacuated. It also set off transformer explosions and knocked out power to more than 388,000 homes and businesses.

The Florida Disaster website on October 9 said that parts or all of Bay County, Citrus County, Franklin County, Dixie County, Gulf County, Jackson County, Levy County, Okaloosa County, Taylor County, Wakulla County, and Walton County have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for. Wind damage was also evident.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on Tuesday that an estimated 500,000 Florida residents had been ordered or urged to seek higher ground before the storm in 20 counties spanning a 200-mile (320-km) stretch of shoreline. Mandatory evacuation orders went into effect Tuesday morning for some 120,000 people in Panama City Beach and across other low-lying parts of the coast as the hurricane approaches.

The National
This is what Hurricane Michael looks like from space

Almost 370,000 people were left without power, mostly in Florida, but also Alabama and Georgia, news reports said. "Take care of them", he said. "Houses that have been there forever are just shattered". Homes were split open by fallen trees. "It's very, very scary".

"We haven't seen her since the tree hit the den".

General Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said some Florida residents may have been surprised by the rapid growth of the storm.

"This situation has NEVER happened before", it said on Twitter. Search and rescue crews were expected to escalate efforts to reach hardest-hit areas and check for anyone trapped or injured in the storm debris.

The NWS said it had found no record of any previous Category 4 hurricanes that made landfall in the panhandle or the "Big Bend" coastal region.

The Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates in NY on Wednesday issued weather warning to Emiratis in USA after one person was killed and thousands of homes were without power in the state of Florida due to Hurricane Michael, one of the strongest storms to hit the continental U.S. since 1992.

USA president Donald Trump approved a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to "coordinate all disaster relief efforts" and to "identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency".

It was later reported that a child was killed when a tree fell on a home in Seminole County, Georgia, as Hurricane Michael continued to sweep across the south-east, CBS news reports. Forecasters said it will unleash damaging wind and rain all the way into the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence's epic flooding. Up to a foot (30 cm) of rainfall was forecast for some areas from Michael.

Authorities are correcting early reports about the death of an 11-year-old girl as Hurricane Michael blew over southwest Georgia.

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  • Douglas Reid