Barack Obama
Barack Obama Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in South Carolina on Thursday evening as Hurricane Matthew prepares to hit the region.

The announcement came hours after Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida, which is also due to be affected by the storm.

The White House said Obama had spoken by telephone with each of the governors in states bracing for Hurricane Matthew.

The calls were with Govs. Nathan Deal of Georgia, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Pat McCrory of North Carolina and Rick Scott of Florida.

According to the statement, quoted by The Associated Press, the President committed to providing the necessary federal resources to help these states respond to the hurricane.

The White House called on people in the path of the hurricane to take the storm seriously and added that Obama has "directed his team to be as proactive as possible" in its response.

Florida Governor Rick Scott had earlier warned people in the path of the storm to evacuate. “You need to leave. Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate,” he stated.

2,500 National Guard troops have been activated in Florida to deal with the storm and its aftermath.

Hurricane Matthew has already been blamed for well over 100 deaths in Haiti.