Some Florida residents urged netizens to stop using the hashtag #PrayForFlorida, not because people didn't care about what would happen to Florida with the passage of Hurricane Matthew, but because public attention needed to be diverted to Haiti and the Bahamas, areas that suffered greater devastation.
These Floridians want netizens to show more concern to people who might need prayers more, according to the Daily Mail. Before heading towards Florida, the Category 4 hurricane already devastated Haiti and the Bahamas. Locals there don't have the option to flee from the natural disaster. The hurricane has claimed the lives of more than 130 people in Haiti alone, and people fear that the numbers might increase in the next few days.
A Twitter user who goes by the name @Smartyz_ wrote that #PrayForFlorida does not need to be trending, but "don't pray for us [because] we're able to deal with this. Pray for the people in Cuba and Haiti who had nowhere to go."
Netizen @Tim_Brown__ echoed his sentiments and said, "While I respect the #PrayForFlorida, no one talks about the devastation in Haiti. The world is bigger than just our country, people."
Meanwhile, @tamikajohnsonjr wrote that she'd rather do a #PrayForHaiti instead of #PrayForFlorida "because we have so much more resources than Haiti does."
Even celebrities are sharing their concerns on social media. "Legally Blonde" star Reese Witherspoon tweeted, "My prayers go out to all of those [affected] by #HurricaneMatthew. Praying for safety."
Her Bravo co-star Brandi Glanville also tweeted, "Praying for my loves in Florida," while LaToya Jackson tweeted: "May the Lord keep those safe [in] the path of Category 4 #HurricaneMatthew this #FridayEve #Florida #ThursdayThoughts Please Be #Safe #Prayers."
"Just Like A Pill" singer Pink shared a link to UNICEF where concerned people can help, and she wrote "UNICEF is ready to provide lifesaving aid to the areas hardest hit by #HurricaneMatthew. You can help."
"You Raise Me Up" singer Josh Groban tweeted a word of encouragement: "Hang in there, Floridians," while "Super Bass" singer Nicki Minaj posted a pink outline heart that reads, "Sending all my love to everyone being affected by Hurricane Matthew."
On Saturday, the latest report said the storm's impact on Florida has been less serious than feared. "Not only did Hurricane Matthew weaken in the hours leading up to its strongest impact, but the storm failed to make landfall in the state. The eye did not cross the shoreline," The Washington Post reports.