View from hotel balcony in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, 02 Sept 2019 (Ramon Espinosa/AP)
A number of fatalities have been reported as slow-moving Hurricane Dorian wreaks havoc in the Bahamas with more 13,000 homes severely damaged.
The strongest storm to ever hit the island nation – a Category 5 with sustained winds of 320 km/h – made landfall in the Abaco Islands with drenching rain and massive storm surges creating devastating flooding.
Downgraded to a Category 4 storm but still very dangerous, hurricane watches and warnings have been posted along the southeastern United States coastline from Florida to South Carolina.
In current projections, the U.S. National Hurricane Center suggests Dorian could reach the Maritime Provinces by Saturday.
Projected path of Hurricane Dorian (Google Maps)
Puerto Rico managed to avoid a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian but the Bahamas may not be as lucky with officials calling it a “life-threatening” storm.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 4 major hurricane has sustained winds of 240 km/h and could bring a powerful storm surge with large, powerful waves and up to 600 mm of rain to the northwestern Bahamas.
Forecasters say Dorian is expected to turn northward before it reaches Florida but storm impacts will be felt along the Southeastern United States coastline.
Florida has declared a state of emergency with tropical storm warnings in effect and some residents are being ordered to evacuate in case of coastal flooding.
From left to right, Hurricanes Katia, Irma, Jose, 08 Sept 2017 (Earth Wind Map)
Irma aftermath on St. Maarten Island, eastern Caribbean, 06 Sept 2017 (Reuters)
Hurricane Irma has barreled through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm claiming more than 20 lives and destroying more than 90 percent of the buildings on the islands of Barbuda, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Barts.
Irma is heading for Florida where officials say it could be the strongest storm ever and evacuation orders have led to massive lineups at gas stations as residents flee northward.
Following a similar path, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 storm which could hit the already battered islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
Hurricane Katia is a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico which will make landfall along Mexico’s east coast bringing heavy rain and a storm surge before dissipating quickly over the rugged Sierra Madre mountains.
Forecasters say three simultaneous hurricanes is quite rare and the last time was in 2010 with Hurricanes Igor, Julia and Karl.
One of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history, Matthew is swirling in the Caribbean with Haiti in its direct path.
The category 4 storm with sustained winds of 220 km/h and heavy rains causing flooding have forced thousands in Haiti and Jamaica to emergency shelters.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Matthew may lose some steam as it moves across Haiti, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas.
Forecasters currently believe Matthew will remain close to Florida and offshore to the east but caution its path could change.
Hurricane Hilary (courtesy NOAA)
Hurricane Hilary moved away from Mexico’s southwestern coast in the Pacific as a powerful Category 4 storm Friday as search teams recovered the bodies of three fishermen caught in the storm.
The hurricane was not forecast to make landfall, but forecasters say Mexico’s Pacific coast has been affected by wind, rain and heavy surf from Hilary.
The three fishermen went out to sea Thursday despite a hurricane warning according to Guerrero state officials and navy rescue crews found the bodies Friday in the waters off the town of Marquelia.
Hilary’s maximum sustained winds late Friday were near 230 kph and the hurricane was centered about 260 kilometres south of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving west at near 15 kph.
(With files from The Associated Press)