Hurricane Matthew, which has passed through Haiti and Cuba, is heading towards the Bahamas, leaving at least 25 people dead in its way.
Residents of Florida and South Carolina have started evacuation towards higher ground as Hurricane Matthew inches towards it. "We are preparing for the worst, we are hoping for the best, and we're not taking any chances," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a press conference.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to hit the coast of Florida near Melbourne and Daytona Beach on Friday, which could result in landfall and affect the millions of people living along the coast. The hurricane had hit Nassau and central/northern Bahamas by Thursday morning and is expected to cover the northern Bahamas leading to rain in southern Florida region.
By Friday morning, Melbourne is expected to experience the hurricane and landslides, which may impact Carolina or Savannah as well. Hurricane Matthew is expected lose its intensity by Saturday afternoon, by which time it should be moving eastward with Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.
"Wind strength is our biggest concern, regardless if the storm directly hits or not," Scott warned. He also requested the people to stay away from the beach until further notice. He said, "Please do not go to the beach and try to surf. This can kill you, and we cannot save you."
More than two million people living on the predicted route of Hurricane Matthew have already been asked to evacuate. As of early Thursday morning, the hurricane has already killed at least 25 people in several Caribbean countries.
"Haiti is facing the largest humanitarian event witnessed since the earthquake six years ago," said Mourad Wahba, the United Nations secretary general's deputy special representative for Haiti. NGOs operating in Haiti have confirmed that the country is wiped out, with barely one percent of the houses standing.
"The people are alive ... they survived. But soon, they may starve. They're cutoff," said a pilot working in the coastal Haitian city of Jeremie. The destructive winds and rainfalls cause by Hurricane Matthew has also spread fear of a possible cholera outbreak.
Meanwhile, US has announced that it is moving nine helicopters and 100 personnel to offer help to Haiti.