Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas said that Category 5 Hurricane "Dorian" has caused "unprecedented damage" to his country. The violent tropical cyclone damaged over 13 000 properties, according to the International Red Cross. Dorian is the strongest hurricane to hit the northwestern Bahamas with maximum sustained winds of 298 km/h (185 mph) and wind gusts up to 354 km/h (220 mph). This also makes it the second strongest Atlantic hurricane, according to the NHC.
Bruce Sawyer, a Bahamas native, described the nightmare as the residents endured the terrifying cyclone: "There's houses that are torn apart. There's tree limbs in the road. There's no green shrubbery left. It's just shredded. It looks like a bomb went out."
Minnis expressed on his Twitter account that although the winds have slowed down to 265 km/h (165 mph), Dorian still remains dangerous.
From the vantage point of 250 miles above our home planet, @Astro_Christina captured a view of #HurricaneDorian from our orbiting laboratory. For more views of the storm from the @Space_Station, visit https://t.co/9zSxlG1jlQ. pic.twitter.com/sRfItYDUWP— NASA (@NASA) September 2, 2019
Happening now! Usa Coast Guard Helicopter arriving in Abaco,Bahamas to transport Critical injured ppl to the as Abaco Clinic is overwhelming crowded with ppl who need assistance and also it’s being used as a shelter to house thousands #HurricaneDorain pic.twitter.com/hlZZ072kq1— MVP (@mvp242) September 2, 2019
Grand Bahama is still feeling the impact of the Category 5 #HuricaneDorian. Based on reports out of Abaco, the devastation is unprecedented. Winds have decreased to 165MPH but Dorian remains an extremely dangerous storm. Our focus right now is rescue, recovery and prayer.— Dr Hubert Minnis (@minnis_dr) September 2, 2019
Amid unconfirmed reports of missing bodies, the Bahamas Press identified the storm's first victim in a tweet as a 7-year old boy who drowned in the Abaco Islands. The boy's sister is reportedly missing.
First death recorded in Abaco following Hurrican Dorian passage on Abaco....— Bahamas Press (@Bahamaspress) September 2, 2019
BP BREAKING| The first recorded death of Hurricane Dorian is now being confirmed. Seven year-old, Lachino Mcintosh, drowned after his family attempts to relocate their home. McIntosh's sister is missing pic.twitter.com/UQ99XPlBEa
Bahamas Power and Light reported that New Providence, the island's most populous area, had experienced a total blackout. Spokesman Quincy Parker tod ZNS Bahamas radio station that authorities are working to fix the power outage on the island. The agency's office is located in Abaco which was also pounded by the storm.
Meteorologists state that they find it challenging to forecast the path of the hurricane due to its "cone of uncertainty". Furthermore, the NHC released a warning that storm surges could reach 5 m to 7 m (18 feet to 23 feet) above normal levels.
Darren Henfield, The Bahamas minister of foreign affairs, gave an update about Abaco on a tweet by ZNS Bahamas. "From all accounts, we have received catastrophic damage along the front strip from Marsh Harbour," Henfield said.
JUST IN: video coming from the Abacos.— ZNS Bahamas (@ZNSBahamas242) September 2, 2019
(1/2) “We’re holding strong, we’re just asking you to continue to pray for us.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs and North Abaco MP, Honorable Darren Henfield addressing the current state of Abaco.#HurricaneDorian2019 #Abaco pic.twitter.com/QfJPb3FESP
He added that there has been reports of deaths in the area. "We have reports of casualties. We have reports of bodies being seen. We cannot confirm those reports until we go out and have a look for ourselves. It is not safe to go outdoors. Power lines are down, lampposts are down, trees are across the street."
The minister said by the end of the video, "We are holding strong we are asking you to continue to pray for us." Minnis also expressed in a tweet that the country's focus is rescue, recovery, and prayer.
Featured image credit: NASA/ISS