Hurricane Matthew — the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade — has killed more than 300 people in Haiti, and is heading towards the US state of Florida.
Two million people have been told to evacuate Florida.
“This storm will kill you,” Rick Scott, governor of Florida, said at a news conference, urging that “the time is now” to evacuate ahead of the Category 4 storm.
“This is life and death,” he added.
In Haiti, at least 50 people were reported killed in the town of Roche-a-Bateau, according to BBC.
The nearby city of Jeremie saw 80% of its buildings levelled. In Sud province, 30,000 homes were destroyed.
Hurricane Matthew battered the Florida coast with powerful winds, potentially devastating storm surges and torrential rain on Friday, leaving hundreds of thousands without power as those remaining in the storm’s path were ordered to shelter in place.
More than 225,000 people were already without power across the state of Florida.
The deadly storm is projected to run parallel to the coast of the Sunshine State as it tracks closer to land over the next two days, producing a potentially devastating storm surge of up to 10 feet over an expanded swath of coast that stretches from central Florida up into South Carolina.
The potential for a destructive storm surge, coupled with up to 15 inches of rain expected in isolated spots, has officials fearing catastrophic flooding.