Hurricane Matthew Will Hit Florida Today

Hurricane Matthew has left devastation in its wake and broken meteorological records as the strongest hurricane in recent years—and now it's heading for Florida.

Before making landfall, Matthew was briefly a Category 5 storm, making it the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean in almost a decade. Then Matthew landed in Haiti on Tuesday as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds up to 130 mph. The Associated Press reported at least five people had died in Haiti by Tuesday night, but The New York Times reported on Thursday that the death toll has now risen to over 100 people. Damaging flooding continues to ravage the region and communication systems in some areas are down. Matthew also touched down in Cuba Tuesday night as a Category 4 storm.

Areas affected by the hurricane are experiencing fresh water shortages, overcrowded hospitals and tens of thousands of people in shelters.  “We have already started mobilizing assistance to communities impacted, including providing $400,000 in initial relief assistance to Haiti and Jamaica,” a State Department official told BuzzFeed News.

Experts predict that the storm will cause extremely dangerous weather conditions once it hits Florida and Georgia, with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida telling 1.5 million people to evacuate, according to the Times. Georgia is also attempting to evacuate 500,000 people. The storm is likely to hit Florida late Thursday and continue all day Friday before beginning to affect Georgia and South Carolina on Saturday. USA Today College reports that the University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and Florida Southern College are all closed for the hurricane, among other schools.

Monetary donations to help in relief efforts can be made to the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and UNICEF.