Local authorities in the U.S. South-eastern state of Florida have issued a mandatory evacuation order for some 1.5 million coastal residents in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in almost a decade.
“This storm will kill you,” said Florida Governor Rick Scott at a press conference. “Time is running out. We don’t have much time left.”
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, Hurricane Matthew remained a Category 3 hurricane as of Thursday morning, with maximum sustained winds as strong as 125 mph.
There is still possibility that it would evolve into Category 4 storm in approaching the east coast of Florida, said the centre.
One day before the evacuation order in Florida was issued, U.S. President Barack Obama warned that the hurricane could have a devastating effect and urged residents in affected areas to follow local governments’ orders.