“This will put us to a test that we’ve never confronted before,” Minnis said. “This is probably the most sad and worst day of my life to address the Bahamian people.”
Hurricane Dorian, the second strongest Atlantic storm on record, pounded the Bahamian islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama on Sunday night and was forecast to move dangerously close to Florida in the next two days, U.S. forecasters said.
Hazards for the Abaco Islands included storm surges 18 to 23 feet (5.5 to 7 meters) above normal tide levels with higher destructive waves, the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
At 8 p.m. (0000) GMT, the hurricane was about 150 miles (240 km) from the Florida coast, parts of which were evacuating. Farther north, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered mandatory evacuations for parts of eight coastal counties effective at noon (1600 GMT) on Monday.
(Production: Temis Tormo)