Bahamas: five dead

Hurricane Dorian stalled over the Bahamas, hitting the islands with wind, rain and storms, killing at least five people.

Thousands of homes were flooded with floodwaters as rescue operations attempted to reach stranded residents, many of whom were stranded on rooftops.

Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, has been on the island of Grand Bahama for more than a day.

It has weakened in the face of a Category 3 hurricane, but still hits the Bahamas with 120 mph winds, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center announced.

The center of the fierce storm was about 30 miles northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and about 100 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

NHC urged locals to stay in shelters as the storm's "wall of the eye" continued to pound them.

The strongest winds of the storm are usually close to the eyes.

In an earlier update, Dorian "continued to hit" the Grand Bahama and would cause "extreme destruction" until Tuesday morning.

At least five people were killed in the Abaco Islands in northern Bahamas, said Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on Monday.

"We are experiencing a historic tragedy in parts of our northern Bahamas," said Minnis. "Our mission and goal now is search, rescue and recovery."

Abaco and Grand Bahama, which do not exceed much more than 12 meters high, shelter 70 000 people.

Bahamian officials said they received "considerable" calls from people living in flooded homes.

One radio station reported receiving more than 2,000 distress messages, including a five-month-old baby on a roof and a woman with six grandchildren who dug a hole in the roof to escape the rising waters. At least two designated storm shelters have been flooded.

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