THE Governor of Florida has warned that Hurricane Matthew will kill people in the southern American state. Now considered a category three hurricane with winds of around 129mph, it began lashing the coast of east Florida late on Thursday and the next 48 hours will be crucial.
The death toll from collapsed building, fallen trees, and flying debris continues to rise in Haiti where at least 330 people are confirmed dead. The Bahamas is also counting the hurricane’s cost with multiple fatalities and significant damage.
“This is serious. If you’re on the east coast from Palm Beach northwards you’re likely to see wind from 100-150 mph. Just think about that. These catastrophic levels can completely wipe out well-built homes and destroy neighbourhoods” Governor Rick Scott told the public.
There are no excuses, you need to leave. Evacuate. Evacuate. Evacuate,” he said. “Are you willing to risk your life, are you willing to take a gamble? That’s what you’re doing.”
His dire warnings come as President Obama signed an emergency declaration releasing federal funds for dozens of Florida counties caught in the hurricane’s path.
While the hurricane is expected to weaken to category two within the next 24 hours or so, in Haiti the damage is already done.
Alongside the hundreds killed more than 3,000 homes have been destroyed and 15,000 people displaced. Countless animals have died and farms been ruined by flooded in a nation which has been pounded by natural disasters over the past decade.