Hurricane Dorian reaches historically catastrophic status

Storm is battering Bahamas as a million people are evacuated in US

People of Florida prepare for Dorian 
(Image credit: (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images))

Hurricane Dorian has become a “catastrophic” category 5 storm as winds of more than 200mph pounded the Bahamas.

Dorian has gusts up to 220mph, making it one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes to arrive on land. The Guardian says Dorian is the “biggest storm to hit the island chain in modern times”. CNN adds that it is “the strongest anywhere on the planet this year”.

In the Bahamas, Dorian has already caused major damage, with roofs ripped from homes, cars overturned and power lines torn down, Sky News says.

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Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said that in some areas “you cannot tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins”.

Donald Trump said Americans should “pray for the people in the Bahamas” as over a million people are being evacuated from Georgia and South Carolina as Dorian approaches.

Although the hurricane is not predicted to make landfall in the US, it is still expected to cause problems for Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

The Georgia evacuation covers roughly 540,000 people in six communities on the state's 100-mile coast, while in South Carolina around 830,000 people in eight coastal communities are affected.

Henry McMaster, the South Carolina Governor, said: “We can't make everybody happy, but we believe we can keep everyone alive.”

Currently, it is hoped that Florida and Georgia could be spared from the worst on Tuesday and Wednesday but South Carolina and North Carolina could be hit on Thursday.

However, authorities in Florida are warning residents not to be complacent. Governor Ron DeSantis said: “We're not out of the woods yet.”

The National Hurricane Center said: “The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has come under fire in the US after he said: “I'm not sure that I've ever even heard of a Category 5.” Four such storms have threatened the US since he took office.

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