Hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas on Monday, killing at least five people and inundating homes with floodwater ahead of its expected advance on the U.S. coast, where more than a million people were ordered evacuated.
Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, had been hovering over Grand Bahama Island for 36 hours by early Monday evening and was expected to stay put until at least Tuesday morning, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory at 5 p.m. EST (2100 GMT).
It warned residents not to leave shelters until the eye of the hurricane passes. The storm’s strongest winds are usually close to the eye.
At least five people were killed in the Abaco Islands, in the northern Bahamas, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told a news conference on Monday.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of our northern Bahamas,” Minnis said. “Our mission and focus now is search, rescue and recovery.”
He added that the U.S. Coast Guard was on the ground in Abaco and had rescued a number of injured individuals. Critically injured people were being taken to hospitals on New Providence, the country’s most populous island.