SIX elderly nursing home residents have died in hurricane-hit Miami after their building was left without air conditioning, authorities said.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost power as Hurricane Irma struck Florida at the weekend, bringing 150mph winds and torrential downpours.
Temperatures since the megastorm passed through the area have been as high as 32C.
Mayor Barbara Sharief said three people died at the nursing home and two more passed away shortly after being taken to hospital. Another resident died later in hospital, officials said.
A criminal investigation was launched as Florida Power & Light revealed the home was not listed as a top tier critical infrastructure facility by local officials.
Residents of the facility were evacuated on Wednesday "due to intense heat and no power," local station WSVN said.
The deaths take the toll in Florida from the hurricane to at least 17.
Hollywood police chief Tom Sanchez said officers and fire crews responded this morning to a call from the facility about patients in need of critical care.
He said crews evacuated 115 patients from the centre and are in the process of evacuating another 18 patients from a nearby behavioural facility next door.
The 152-bed Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills provides short-term rehabilitative services and long-term care, according to its website.
Jorge Carballo, administrator of the home, said: "The Rehabilitation Centre at Hollywood Holls has evacuated this morning due to a prolonged power failure to the transformer which powered the facility's air conditioning system as a result of the hurricane.
"Facility administration has been in communication with Florida Power & Light and the Governor's office since the beginning of Hurricane Irma, and is cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome.
"Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those affected".