Hurricane Irma: Officials urge health care checks after nursing home deaths

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In a statement to local media, Jorge Carballo, administrator at The Rehabilitation Center, said "several patients experienced distress and there were [three] fatalities" in the building following the power outage, which affected the transformer that powers the facility's air conditioning system.

Two elderly residents were found dead at the nursing home, and three later died at a hospital.

Devastated friends and family of the eight people who died at a Hollywood nursing home, are trying to piece together what happened, as a criminal investigation gets underway.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement he would "aggressively demand answers" on what he called an "unfathomable" situation. Sharief said there are no details about the cause of the deaths. "Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe".

Six people have died from a nursing home in Hollywood, Fla., that lost power in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and dozens more had to be evacuated to nearby hospitals.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities as officials continue to assess the damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the USA mainland this year.

All patients who survived have been removed from the nursing home and taken to hospitals.

One of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, Irma bore down on the Caribbean with devastating force as it raked the northern shore of Cuba last week before barrelling into the Florida Keys island chain on Sunday, packing sustained winds of up to 215 kilometres per hour.

One of the nursing homes also did not have AC and the patients were removed from the facility.

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The nursing home did have a generator, but it is unclear if the generator was functional, WSVN reported. Then, police responded to a 911 call and found three people dead and others in struggling health.

Police were helping to evacuate about 80 residents from the the Krystal Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Miami Beach on Wednesday afternoon.

Police said Wednesday morning that this may be related to the loss of power during the storm. Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story said there were "a number of critical patients".

Police were first called to the facility at about 4:30 a.m. but did not arrive until after 6 a.m., officials said. VIDEO: Before and after IrmaStepped-up safety checks were conducted around the state after eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked Florida's top leaders as they surveyed destruction from the punishing storm. Between 2,000 and 3,000 utility workers from out-of-state are staying at BB&T Stadium in Broward County, which is home to the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers, said Beyersdorf.

Some relatives said they still did not know if their family members were among those who died after the storm.

"We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to keep our seniors safe during this hard time", he said.

Customers who lost electricity on Florida's eastern side will likely have it restored by this weekend, because fewer electrical poles came down than in other parts of the state, Florida Power & Light Co. says.

An estimated 150 facilities out of the almost 700 in the state are now without full power services, the association said.