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Hurricane Michael:Dozens still missing on Florida coast

Dozens of people remain missing in coastal areas of north-west Florida devastated by Hurricane Michael last week, officials say.

So far at least 18 people are confirmed dead with nine in Florida, five in Virginia, three in North Carolina and one in Georgia. Officials say death toll is expected to rise.

Recovery teams with dogs and heavy equipment are due to scour destroyed buildings in Mexico Beach and Panama City in the search for more victims.

President Donald Trump is set visit the storm-hit region later on Monday, October 15.

He and First Lady Melania Trump will fly to Florida and are also expected to visit southern Georgia.

Many places are still without power and rescue efforts have been hampered by fallen trees and other debris blocking roads. There are also shortages of food and water.

On Sunday, officials in Florida confirmed that another body had been recovered in Mexico Beach.

City Mayor Al Cathey told ABC news on Sunday that 46 people remained missing or unaccounted for.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), Brock Long, warned that the death toll could rise.

“I hope we don’t see it climb dramatically but I have reasons to believe we still haven’t got into some of the hardest-hit areas,” he said.

Mexico Beach had been under a mandatory evacuation order but it is believed at least 285 people among a population of 1,000 had stayed behind to ride out the storm.

Accounting for those missing has been made more difficult by damaged mobile phone coverage in many areas.

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A state of emergency was declared in Florida and on Sunday a similar declaration was made in Georgia.

Florida Governor Rick Scott described Mexico Beach as looking like “a war zone”. He said more than 1,700 rescue workers had been deployed.

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