Dorian weakens to Category 3 hurricane as it stalls near Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian
Hurricane Dorian

HURRICANE Dorian has weakened to a Category 3 storm as it sits at a standstill near the Bahamas, where it has killed at least five people and caused catastrophic damage.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre said in its latest advisory that Dorian was “stationary” just north of Grand Bahama Island, which has suffered the brunt of the storm for more than 24 hours.

The forecast calls for Dorian to continue lashing Grand Bahama for much of Tuesday before it begins moving slowly toward the north-west and coming “dangerously close to the Florida east coast’’.

Dorian’s centre was about 50 kilometres from Freeport, the main city on Grand Bahama.

Its maximum sustained winds were recorded at 195 kilometres per hour, the hurricane centre said in its 0600 GMT advisory.

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis reported on Monday that at least five people have died in the Bahamas from the storm, saying the country was “in the midst of a historic tragedy’’.

Search and rescue efforts were hampered on Monday, but Minnis said they would begin in earnest Tuesday morning.

Emergency responders have said that the full scale of the devastation will not be known until Dorian finally moves away from the Atlantic Ocean archipelago.

The hurricane unleashed massive flooding and fierce winds that tore down power lines and ripped roofs off homes.

Dorian made landfall on the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands on Sunday and has been pummelling it since.

Although gradual weakening is forecast, Dorian is “expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days’’, the advisory said. (dpa/NAN)

– Sept. 3, 2019 @ 13:09 GMT |

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