Eight elderly patients have died of heat exposure in a Miami nursing home after the huge impact of Hurricane Irma that caused power loss and shut down air conditioning, Reuters reported. The hurricane left ten million people without electricity in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

On Wednesday, 115 residents were evacuated from the nursing home because their air conditioning was broken down due to the storm.

According to the Mayor of Broward County, Barbara Sharief, three victims died at the nursing home in Hollywood, a city in Florida, and five died after having been taken to the hospital.

Problems after Hurricane Irma

Irma killed 82 people in the Caribbean islands, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. On Sunday, Irma, the strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic, killed at least 32 people in Florida and seven more people in South Carolina and Georgia.

According to Tomas Sanchez, Hollywood Police Chief, the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has been sealed, and local police have started a criminal investigation after the death of the patients, BBC reported. As the medical workers who helped to evacuate the overheated patients explained, there was a chaos in the nursing center as the climate conditions were life-threatening.

There are almost 700 rehabilitation centers in the state, and at least 150 of them are still without power, as the Florida Health Care Association stated.

What are the actions taken by officials?

On Thursday, Bendetta Craig, a witness whose mother was safely evacuated from the center, said that "It was unnecessary. I don’t know what happened inside. I wasn’t there." She said that the staff of the nursing home had assured her about all the preparations which should have been required during the hurricane.

The state and federal regulators assisted the police and revealed the little information about the deaths of the patients. The officials of the fire department and doctors decided to transfer the patients who were suffering from respiratory diseases, dehydration and heat exhaustion from the hospital when they found the situation became unstable.

There were 141 patients in the hospital, and by Thursday, 70 were discharged.

On Thursday, the health department of Florida said that 29 nursing homes and more than 164 facilities had been evacuated after the storm. The hospitals in the state either running on generators or have restored power, New York Times reported.