- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a staff writer for Foreign Policy, where he oversees FP's breaking news blog, The Cable. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
The number of people killed in Haiti due to Hurricane Matthew soared Friday to at least 842 as the massive storm made its way up the Florida coast toward Georgia and South Carolina.
Residents in all three states were all instructed to leave coastal areas as the storm approached. On Friday, in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama said the storm was capable of causing significant damage.
“I want to emphasize to everybody that this is still a really dangerous hurricane,” Obama said after meeting with the heads of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
“Do not be a hold-out here, because we can always replace property, but we can’t replace lives,” the president added.
On Thursday, Obama declared states of emergency in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, opening the door for federal assistance after the hurricane hits. Governors in those three states also activated thousands of National Guard personnel to help with the response to the storm. According to CNN, roughly 26 million people live in areas that are under hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning due to the Category 3 hurricane.
The Pentagon also announced Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has canceled a weekend trip to Colombia, to stay and deal with Matthew’s aftermath. On Thursday, Defense spokesman Peter Cook said Carter approved the release of $11 million in funds to help relief efforts across the Caribbean.
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