SHOCKING new photographs show the full extent of the devastation Hurricane Dorian has wreaked on communities in the Bahamas.
The 225mph “monster” tore through the island nation killing at least 20 people and leaving many more seriously injured and homeless.
Homes left flattened by 225mph Hurricane Dorian are seen on Abaco, Bahamas[/caption]
At least 20 people are reported to have died in the shocking mega-storm[/caption]
Images from Abaco – the northern band of islands hardest hit by Dorian – show the catastrophic damage caused to thousands of homes.
The wooden-built properties were completely shredded as the mega-storm bulldozed towns and villages, ripping up trees and felling power lines.
The storm’s punishing winds and shocking floodwaters destroyed or severely damaged homes, crippled hospitals and trapped people in attics.
Terrifying time-lapse footage has now emerged which shows the killer storm barrelling across the Atlantic and over the Bahamas before heading towards the US coast.
Mark Lowcock, the United Nations’ under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, estimates about 70,000 people in the northern Bahamas now need vital help.
Tens of thousands now need vital help in the north of the Bahamas[/caption]
Aerial photos show the debris and destruction left in the wake of the hurricane[/caption]
However, with no functioning water systems in accessible areas, workers had not been able to establish a permanent rescue site on the Abacos.
Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief group and flew over the Bahamas’ hard-hit Abaco Islands, said: “It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic.
“It’s not rebuilding something that was there – we have to start again.”
She said her representative on Abaco told her there were “a lot more dead,” though she had no numbers as bodies are being gathered.
The Bahamas’ prime minister also expected more deaths and predicted that rebuilding would require “a massive, coordinated effort”.
Hubert Minnis said: “We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history. No effort or resources will be held back.”
Matthew Aylen is rescued from a flooded home in Freeport, Bahamas[/caption]
Mobile homes are upended and debris is strewn about at the Holiday Trav-l Park in North Carolina[/caption]
Five Coast Guard helicopters ran near-hourly flights to the stricken Abaco, flying more than 20 injured people to the capital’s main hospital.
The British Royal navy is also rushing in aid, while the UK Government sent in a team of humanitarian experts to offer their help.
A few private aid groups also tried to reach the battered islands in the northern Bahamas.
Tammy Mitchell of the Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency told ZNS Bahamas radio station: “We don’t want people thinking we’ve forgotten them. … We know what your conditions are.”
But with airports flooded and roads impassable, desperate rescue efforts are being severely hampered.
Locals rescued used jet skis and bulldozers as they were forced to improvise to reach those trapped.
The news is sure to send shivers down the spines of those hunkering down in North Carolina as the storm closes in.
How hurricanes are measured
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed.
- A Category 1 storm has sustained winds of 74-95 mph
- A Category 2 storm has sustained winds of 96-110 mph
- A Category 3 storm has sustained winds of 111-129 mph
- A Category 4 storm has sustained winds of 130-156mph
- A Category 5 storm has sustained winds of 156mph+
Meanwhile deadly Dorian smashed into Florida’s east coast – whipping up 110mph winds that prompted Disney World to close.
The Category 2 vortex began creeping up the shore 95 miles off Cape Canaveral on Tuesday.
In Florida, Walt Disney World closed its four theme parks by mid-afternoon on Tuesday amid fears for tourist safety.
It vowed to reopen the park today, writing on its site: “We are closely monitoring the progress of the storm and are making operational adjustments as needed, because nothing is more important than the safety of our guests and cast members.”
Universal Orlando Resort also closed its theme parks early for the day because of the threat of the vicious storm.
A woman seeks cover from sand and rain whipped up by Hurricane Dorian in Cocoa Beach, Florida[/caption]
Its two parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, shut as of 6pm local time on Tuesday.
The storm is slowly moving to the northwest at 6mph – leading to expectations it will hit neighbouring
A string of evacuations have been ordered across the US southeast coast by state leaders this week affecting around 1.5million people.
Residents were earlier pictured stocking up on emergency supplies like food, water and batteries, while others boarded up homes and businesses to protect them as best they could.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that Hurricane Dorian is still expected to bring life-threatening storm surges.
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FEMA Associate Administrator Carlos Castillo said residents along the entire US East Coast should be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
He added: “Don’t tough it out, get out.”
The American Red Cross opened 170 shelters and evacuation centres and more than 13,000 people are already at those facilities.
Flooding on the runway of Marsh Harbour Airport in the Bahamas[/caption]
Strong gusts of wind and heavy rain batter a pier at Jensen Beach, Florida[/caption]
A chopper takes seven critical patients from Marsh Harbour Clinic on Abaco Islands, Bahamas[/caption]
The eye of Hurricane Dorian is shown from the International Space Station[/caption]
A car is submerged in water from Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas[/caption]
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