Bahamas fears severe Dorian death toll, as storm lashes North Carolina – World

The final death toll from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas could be "staggering," a government minister said when the storm hit North Carolina in the United States on Friday with torrential rain and fierce wind.

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said CNN on Thursday that at least 30 people died in the storm, which caused what he called "generational devastation."

Additional funeral homes and refrigerated refrigerators were sent to store bodies to the region to help authorities cope with the deadly impact, Health Minister Duane Sands told local media.

Of the final number killed, he declared: "Let me say that I think the number will be amazing."

A AFP The team at the city of Marsh Harbor in Great Abaco on Thursday saw scenes of catastrophic damage with houses reduced to matches, overturned cars, messy rubble fields, widespread flooding and stranded ships.

A view of the damage Hurricane Dorian left on Thursday. – AFP

Dorian was a category 5 hurricane, the highest on the five-level wind scale, when it crashed into northern Bahamas on Sunday, leaving a trail of immense destruction.

Thousands have been left homeless, while the United Nations said 70,000 needed help immediately.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded Dorian on Friday to a Category 1 storm when it hit Outer Banks, finger-shaped barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. He warned of life-threatening storms and dangerous winds, and said some areas have been hit by flash floods.

He warned that, although it weakened, Dorian still accumulated winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour), and it is predicted that some areas of the Carolina coast will receive between six and 12 inches of rain.

Florida authorities, who were largely spared from the storm, attributed six more deaths to the hurricane, US media reported, although they occurred while victims prepared for the arrival of the storm or were related to evacuation.

& # 39; Hell everywhere & # 39;

The monstrous slow-moving storm also hit the coast of South Carolina on Thursday and the historic city of Charleston, generating several tornadoes, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Many residents of the coastal areas in the Carolinas heard evacuation orders, while others hit their houses with plywood and prepared to escape the storm.

The storm was expected to move to southeastern New England on Friday night and Saturday morning, and then through Nova Scotia late on Saturday.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, tweeted that he had spoken with the governors of North and South Carolina, telling them that he is "ready to help."

Total damage in northern Bahamas was known on Thursday when rescue teams deployed in search of survivors and provided relief to victims.

"It's hell everywhere," said Brian Harvey, a Canadian from Montreal, said AFP in Great Abacus.

"I was on my sailboat," said Harvey. "I lost everything". "We have to get out of here." “It's been four or five days. It's time to move out of here.

Steven Turnquest, who arrived in Nassau from Marsh Harbor with his four and seven year old children after weathering the storm, said AFP I was grateful to be alive.

Speaking of his children, Turnquest said he prayed to God to "take me and let them live." "I survived the hurricane clinging to a door."

World Central Kitchen volunteers transport food for survivors of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday in Marsh Harbor, Great Abacus, Bahamas. – AFP

Amid fear of illegality in the devastated storm zone, Prime Minister Minnis warned that any looters will be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law," and additional police and defense force agents will be deployed.

US and British helicopters were conducting medical evacuations, aerial evaluations to help coordinate relief efforts and reconnaissance flights to assess damage.

The United States Coast Guard said it had rescued 201 people in the Bahamas until Thursday.

The UN World Food Program said it had eight tons of ready-to-eat meals about to arrive in the Bahamas.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1503892/bahamas-fears-severe-dorian-death-toll-as-storm-lashes-north-carolina

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