POLITICS
10/06/2016 02:11 pm ET

Obama Declares State Of Emergency In Florida On Hurricane Matthew Threat

The 'Sunshine State' is facing winds of 140 mph.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at FEMA Headquarters, where he received the Hurricane Preparedness Briefi
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting at FEMA Headquarters, where he received the Hurricane Preparedness Briefing, in Washington May 31, 2016.

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida as Hurricane Matthew strengthened and headed for the U.S. Southeast, the White House said on Thursday.

The action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts necessitated by the storm, a Category 4 hurricane packing winds of 140 mph (220 kph).

The hurricane has killed at least 102 people so far, the death toll in struggling Haiti alone rising to 98, local officials told Reuters, as the storm headed northward on Thursday battering the Bahamas en route to Florida.

Many were killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers. Southern and western Haiti bore the brunt.

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