Hurricane Matthew has returned to Category 4 as it makes its way toward Florida, and is expected to hit the state tonight into tomorrow. Matthew was a Category 3 yesterday (October 5). The Weather Channel warns it may even strengthen into a Category 5, which would cause “catastrophic damage,” according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The National Weather Service called the hurricane “extremely dangerous” and “life threatening.”
5 am | Matthew LIFE-THREATENING as it moves up the EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA coast. More impacting than Hurricane David & 2004 hurricanes! #flwx pic.twitter.com/nLuXYNJ4MZ
— NWS Melbourne (@NWSMelbourne) October 6, 2016
Residents in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have been evacuating their homes since Monday, which the National Weather Service said should be completed this afternoon. Earlier today, Florida Gov. Rick Scott emphasized the severity of the hurricane: “Do not surf. Do not go on the beach. This will kill you. There is no reason not to leave." He activated 2,500 National Guard members, according to NBC News. So far, at least 29 people have died in the Caribbean, reports BuzzFeed News.
Airbnb also activated a disaster response tool that connects evacuees with hosts. This is the company’s first time doing so.
UPDATE: We are expanding our Disaster Response Tool activation for #HurricaneMatthew to cover parts of FL and SC https://t.co/4s4slTdueL
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) October 6, 2016
(H/t The Weather Channel, BuzzFeed News, NBC News)