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Death toll from Hurricane Irene reaches 8: CNN

(Xinhua)

10:09, August 28, 2011

Photo taken on Aug. 27 shows the people in the Ocean City of Maryland, the United States, were evacuated. It is expected that the Hurricane Irene comes in the Ocean City at the midnight on Saturday. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Irene-related deaths have amounted to eight as it churned up the U.S. East Coast with high wind, torrential rain and flooding, according to the latest CNN report.

Five people died in North Carolina, the report quoted police and emergency officials as saying.

Two were killed in separate accidents when their cars were struck by trees toppled by strong wind and heavy rain.

A driver died after losing control in standing water and hitting a tree, and a child was killed in a car accident because the traffic lights had failed due to the storm.

Another victim was a man who died from heart attack while putting up plywood board to the windows of his house to shield it from the storm.

In Virginia, a person died when a tree fell on his car, and an 11-year-old boy was killed when a tree crashed through his apartment. There's also a reported death in Florida where a surfer died in New Smyrna Beach.

U.S. government officials warned on Saturday that Irene, although a little weakened after it reached the shores of North Carolina, remained "dangerous" and residents on the East Coast have to take it seriously and get prepared.

Irene has already demonstrated its destructive force after making its landfall in North Carolina on Saturday morning, bringing about high wind, torrential rain, flooded streets and power outages.

About one million residents in North Carolina and Virginia were reported to be left in dark on Saturday as the storm knocked out power supply in many residential areas.

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