Hurricane Dorian, tied as the most powerful storm to hit land anywhere in the Atlantic, battered the Bahamas, inflicting colossal damage to property and infrastructure across the chain of islands.
The hurricane brought winds with maximum sustained speeds of 274kph and 322kph gusts, as much as 76cm of rain in isolated areas, and a storm surge that could top 7m and leave the islands devastated for years.
The fate of Florida remains uncertain as the storm churns in the ocean just 200km away.
The storm ripped off roofs, overturned vehicles and tore down power lines in the Bahamas, the Associated Press reported.
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Director General David Johnson said that the impact has been “devastating,” but added that there had been no loss of life reported.
The storm is about 65km from Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
“I wouldn’t want to be on the Abaco Islands, they are going to have 12 to 15 hours of hurricane force winds with only the eye as the respite,” Weather Underground cofounder Jeff Masters said. “Everything in that eye is going to get totaled. It is going to take them years, if not a decade, to recover.”
Its maximum sustained winds were 274kph at 3am, the National Hurricane Center said, describing the situation as “life-threatening.” Winds were earlier recorded at 298kph, which tied the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, which crushed the Florida Keys, as the strongest storm ever to hit land anywhere in the Atlantic, National Weather Service spokeswoman Maureen O’Leary said.
About 100,000 of the Bahamas population of 370,000 live in areas that are going to be hit by the storm, Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Peter Turnquest said, adding that Abaco suffered “severe destruction of homes and infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, the threat to Florida and the eastern coast of the US remains uncertain.
A hurricane watch has been extended northward to the Florida-Georgia line and the mouth of the St Mary’s River, and remains in place from Lantana to the Volusia-Brevard county line.
While many people focus on winds, most hurricane deaths are caused by storm surge and drowning from flooding.
The hurricane was forecast to move dangerously close to Florida’s east coast yesterday evening through tomorrow evening, the National Hurricane Center said.
Fluctuations in weather patterns across the US and the Atlantic mean that Dorian could hit Florida, or further up the coast in Georgia or the Carolinas, later this week — or not make landfall at all.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, including for the Mar-a-Lago club owned by US President Donald Trump.
“Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast through mid-week,” center senior hurricane specialist Lixion Avila wrote in a note. “Only a slight deviation to the left of the official forecast would bring the core of Dorian near or over the Florida east coast.”
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”