5 dead as Hurricane Dorian hits Bahamas
Published: 11:35 AM, 3 September 2019 Updated: 02:41 PM, 3 September 2019
At least five people were confirmed dead as Hurricane Dorian continued to inflict ‘extreme destruction’ on the Bahamas.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Bahamas police force late Monday confirmed the deaths at the north-eastern Abaco Islands, which bore the brunt of the storm.
Some 13,000 houses are feared damaged or destroyed, according to the International Red Cross.
Dorian, the second-strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, remains "extremely dangerous", Minnis said.
Pictures showed surging floodwaters, upturned cars and snapped trees. Eyewitness videos and reports paint a picture of massive and widespread flooding, with panicked families fleeing to their roofs to escape rising floodwaters.
Dorian is the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas since records began and will later move "dangerously close" to the US east coast, according to forecasters.
It hit the Bahamas as a category five hurricane but has now weakened to a category four with maximum sustained winds near 150mph (240 km/h), says the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its latest update.
However, Dorian will remain "a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days".
The NHC said that only a slight deviation in the path of the storm could bring Dorian directly over Florida's east coast, which is already expected to face life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds over the next couple of days.
The US states of Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina have all declared states of emergency.
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