Washington, Oct 7 (IANS) Hurricane Matthew barrelled towards the southeastern United States after killing at least 140 as US President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida ahead of the hurricane.
Of the 140, 136 people have been killed in Haiti with the storm now hitting 140mph as it approaches Florida, Mirror UK reported.
Most of the victims were killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers.
Due to the emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency are authorised to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile, local authorities in Florida on Thursday issued a mandatory evacuation order for nearly 1.5 million coastal residents in preparation for the hurricane, one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in a decade.
“This storm will kill you. We don’t have much time left,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott at a press conference.
According to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Matthew remained a Category 3 hurricane as of Thursday morning.
There is still possibility that it would evolve into a Category 4 storm in approaching the east coast of Florida, said the Center.