Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Arquette and More Send Their Prayers to Those Affected by Hurricane Matthew
No Atlantic storm on record has sustained such vicious winds over a prolonged period than Hurricane Matthew. At least 300 deaths in South Carolina and at least 120 deaths in Haiti are due to the 130 mph winds and severe storm surges of the category 4 storm.
Many social media users, including celebrities, sent their thoughts and prayers via Twitter. “My prayers go out to all of those effected by #HurricaneMatthew Praying for safety,” Reese Witherspoon wrote on Thursday. Similarly, Patricia Arquette tweeted: “Sending out prayers to #Haiti and thanks to those who are helping. Prayers to those in Florida.”
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both took to Twitter to express their sympathies to those affected by the natural disaster. In addition, P!nk and Heidi Klum attached links to Unicef relief sites to inform their followers of how to help.
President Obama declared a state of emergency in South Carolina and Florida on Thursday. “There are no excuses,” Florida governor Rick Scott said at a news conference in Tallahassee, according to the New York Times. “You need to leave. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate. This storm will kill you. Time is running out. This is life and death.”
“Evacuations for coastal counties in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are in effect. If you live in these areas, please listen to the directions of your state, tribal, and local officials,” the White House and Craig Fugate, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, said in a statement to PEOPLE.
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“If instructed to evacuate, don’t wait. You can always repair and rebuild — and we’ll be here to help you do that. The most important thing you can do is keep you and your family safe,” the statement read.
Officials from Florida to South Carolina ordered about 3.1 million people to leave under mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in three states. Up to 15 inches of rain is projected to fall in some areas with a storm surge of up to 11 feet expected along the coast from central Florida to Georgia, according to the National Hurricane Center.