Five killed in Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian causes ‘catastrophic’ damage

At least five people have been killed in the Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian batters the region.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis confirmed the deaths on Monday, adding that there are also people in nearby Grand Bahama island who are in serious distress.

He said rescue crews will respond to calls for help as soon as weather conditions allow.

Hurricane Dorian as seen from the International Space Station. Pic: ISS
Image: The hurricane as seen from the International Space Station. Pic: ISS

Injured people from a clinic in Great Abaco Island's Marsh Harbour arrive after being evacuated in a US Coast Guard helicopter to be treated in Nassau, Bahamas
Image: Injured people have been evacuated from Great Abaco to Nassau, in the Bahamas

“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” he said, calling the devastation “unprecedented and extensive”.

At least 21 people have been injured in the storm, currently graded as a category three, and there are also widespread power cuts. Hurricanes are rated from category one to five based on sustained wind speed, with a category three meaning “devastating damage will occur”.

By Monday night, Dorian had been hovering over Grand Bahama for almost 40 hours with maximum sustained winds of 145mph (233kph).

It is expected to stay in roughly the same place until at least Tuesday morning local time. It is about 100 miles east of Florida’s West Palm Beach.

More from Hurricane Dorian

It will then move “dangerously close” to the Florida east coast through Wednesday evening before moving north to coastal Georgia and South Carolina into Thursday, forecasters said.

Dorian unleashed massive flooding across the Bahamas, battering the islands with so much wind and water that rescue crews were forced to seek shelter.

Houses line a flooded street after the effects of Hurricane Dorian arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, September 2, 2019. Pic: John Marc Nutt
Image: Houses were flooded in Nassau, Bahamas. Pic: John Marc Nutt

Roofs were shredded, cars were hurled into the distance and authorities urged people trapped in flooded homes to find flotation devices and use hammers to break out of their attics if necessary.

Officials said they received a “tremendous” number of calls from people in flooded homes, and a radio station received more than 2,000 distress messages, including reports of a five-month-old baby stranded on a roof.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, braces for Hurricane Dorian, which is currently over the Bahamas (Sept 2)
Image: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is now bracing for the hurricane to hit the US

Uprooted trees, fallen power lines and the debris from damaged houses scatter on a road as Hurricane Dorian sweeps through Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, September 1, 2019. Pic: Ramond A King
Image: Hurricane Dorian sweeps through Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. Pic: Ramond A King

Police Chief Samuel Butler said rescue teams had to wait until weather conditions improved, but urged people to remain calm and share their GPS coordinates.

“We simply cannot get to you,” he told Bahamas radio station ZNS.

Shoppers have been stocking up on supplies in Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian's arrival
Image: Shoppers have been stocking up on supplies in Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival

On Sunday, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds had reached 185mph (297kph), with gusts up to 220mph (354kph), tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to make landfall.

Forecasters warned that Dorian could generate a storm surge as high as 23ft (seven metres).

Florida’s busiest airport – Orlando – will close at 2am on Tuesday, due to safety concerns as wind speeds could reach up to 45mph (72.4kph).

More than 1,300 flights have been cancelled within, to and from the US mostly due to Dorian, according to flight tracking site FlightAware. At least another 1,000 cancellations are expected on Tuesday.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

World News – Breaking international news and headlines | Sky News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *