Cuba Sends Humanitarian Aid to the Bahamas

The first shipment of humanitarian aid sent by Cuba to the Bahamas, an archipelago severely damaged by category 5 Hurricane Dorian last week, was received by Captain Stephen Russell, director of the National Emergency Management Agency of that nation.

Eugenio Martínez Enríquez, director general for Latin America and the Caribbean of Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, posted on Twitter that “the first part of #Cuba’s humanitarian aid arrived in Bahamas. It was received by Captain Stephen Russell, @nemabahamas Government of #Bahamas thanks the
Government and people of #Cuba.

On the Cuban side the shipment was delivered by Raciel Proenza, deputy director general of Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Trade (MINCEX) and Ambassador of Cuba Ismara Vargas.

Proenza told Prensa Latina news agency that in the next few days another Cuban vessel with new supplies will arrive in the Bahamas. Likewise, the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in its Twitter profile that “after the passage of #HuracanDorian, permanent communication has been maintained between the authorities of #Cuba and #Bahamas, to coordinate the aid offered by #Cuba.

Our collaborators have joined the recovery efforts in the brotherly Caribbean country. More than 60 of these aid workers are in the Bahamas, most of them in the educational sector, and according to press reports all of them are in good health and in full dedication to the tasks of repairing the damages and recovering as much as possible in that archipelago, where Dorian hit last September 1 as a category 5 hurricane, leaving at least 50 dead, more than 2,500 missing and billions of dollars in damages.

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50 Dead In Hurricane Dorian, 90 Per Cent Infrastructure Damaged In Bahamas

"Communities such as The Mudd and Pigeon Pea, where 70 percent of informal housing in Abaco existed, and where an overwhelming majority of Haitian migrants resided, has been decimated," it said in a statement.

"The Mudd is gone," said IOM's Brian Kelly, who is leading the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in the area.

The Haitians migrants "are in a very tough situation, just as many of the Bahamians," he said.

Some 90 percent of housing and infrastructure is damaged or destroyed on Abaco, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement, reporting thousands of houses leveled, telecommunications towers down and roads blocked.

Approximately 76,000 people were affected by Dorian, the IOM said, citing official reports. Of these, thousands have been evacuated and about 860 are in emergency shelters in the capital city of Nassau.

"The rest of the people remain in the affected areas," said Vynliz Dailey, IOM assessment mission officer.

An estimated 5,000 people had been evacuated by the Bahamas, the WFP said, citing data provided by the government.

The organization said it had distributed 1,000 tarpaulin coats to serve as temporary roofs for destroyed homes in Marsh Harbour while the World Food Programme said it had passed out more than 1,500 ready-to-eat meals, after offloading 13,800 at Marsh Harbour.

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43 Dead, Search For More Bodies Continue In Hurricane-Ravaged Bahamas

MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas: Rescue workers wearing white hazard suits continued their grim search for bodies and survivors in the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas on Monday, as relief agencies worked to deliver food and supplies over flooded roads and piles of debris.

At least 43 people died when Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on Sept. 1, flattening homes and tossing cars and planes around like toys.

Dorian was one of the most powerful Caribbean storms on record, a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 200 miles per hour (320 kph). It rampaged over the Bahamas for nearly two days, becoming the worst disaster in the nation's history.

Large swaths of Greater Abaco Island were destroyed. Reuters journalists saw search crews using geotagging technology to mark the locations of bodies in the hard-hit Mudd section of Marsh Harbour on that island.

Thousands of people poured into the capital, Nassau, where a week after the storm shelters were straining to house evacuees from worse-hit areas. Hundreds more have fled to the United States in search of safety and resources.

The National Emergency Management Agency said late Sunday that 2,500 people had been evacuated from the archipelago's several islands, most of them from Abaco.

Shelters are housing about 1,100 people, the agency said; more are staying with friends and relatives. The agency late Sunday was asking residents whose homes were intact to open them up to people displaced by the storm.

Some 90% of the homes, buildings and infrastructure in Marsh Harbour were damaged, the World Food Programme said. Thousands of people were living in a government building, a medical center and an Anglican church that survived the storms, it said, but had little or no access to water, power and sanitary facilities.

Some 70,000 people were in need of food and shelter, the WFP estimated. Private forecasters estimated that some $3 billion in insured property was destroyed or damaged in the Caribbean.

The risk of outbreaks of diarrhea and waterborne diseases was high as drinking water may be tainted with sewage, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

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CUBA SENDS DOCTORS AND TEACHERS TO HURRICANE HIT BAHAMAS

"As is always the case with Cuban cooperators in other parts of the world, in the face of these disasters, everyone will [also] contribute their efforts in the recovery stage."

Cuba’s government confirmed on Wednesday that they have sent a number of doctors and teachers to areas of the Bahamas which have been hit by Hurricane Dorian. The Cuban workers will assist local authorities in emergency relief, though they will also stay afterwards to help rebuild the country’s medical and education services in the affected areas.

Cuba’s ambassador to the Bahamas Ismara Vargas spoke to Prensa Latina on Wednesday, confirming that over 60 Cuban workers have been sent to the Bahamas so far. They have been sent to Abaco and Grand Bahama, the areas of the country that have been hit hardest by Hurricane Dorian.

Vargas commented, "as is always the case with Cuban cooperators in other parts of the world, in the face of these disasters, everyone will [also] contribute their efforts in the recovery stage."

Cuban Medical internationalism is a legacy of the revolution. Huge numbers of doctors are sent abroad to work across the global south, offering medical services to low income and isolated communities around the world.

Those doctors and teachers will face a tough challenge in the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Caribbean, and is the worst storm the Bahamas has had to face. The death toll is currently at 7, with as many as 13,000 homes in the country now destroyed or severely damaged, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Dorian is expected to reach the U.S. where huge evacuation operations have begun.

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Hurricane Dorian latest: 7 killed in Bahamas, 1 dead in North Carolina as storm moves north

Hurricane Dorian has killed at least seven in the Bahamas, as well as an elderly man in North Carolina, as the storm looms over the Southeast coast.

Dorian, a Category 2, is churning next to northeast Florida and might make landfall as it inches closer to the Carolinas -- and South Carolina's governor is warning that "time to get out is running out."

Devastation in the Bahamas

Dorian first slammed into the Bahamas on Sunday afternoon as a Category 5, the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record.

PHOTO: Photo taken from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew in the Bahamas, Sept. 2, 2019.U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater / Photo taken from a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew in the Bahamas, Sept. 2, 2019.

At least seven people were killed on the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas, where the storm made landfall.

"We can expect more deaths to be recorded," Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told reporters Tuesday. "Our priority at this time is search, rescue and recovery."

PHOTO: A family is escorted to a safe zone after they were rescued as Hurricane Dorian continues to rain in Freeport, Bahamas, Sept. 3, 2019.Ramon Espinosa / APA family is escorted to a safe zone after they were rescued as Hurricane Dorian continues to rain in Freeport, Bahamas, Sept. 3, 2019 more +

Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters The Associated Press / Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters more +

The storm hovered over the archipelago's northern islands for nearly two days, leveling dozens of buildings, flooding roads and submerging an airport.

Theo Neilly, the Bahamas consul general to the United States, said the greatest need is for water, non-perishable food, generators, tents and tarp poles.

"We're receiving supplies and we're looking for people who can assist with shipping," Neilly told ABC News on Tuesday.

This aerial photo provided by Medic Corps, shows the destruction brought by Hurricane Dorian on Man-o-War Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept.3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfoldingThe Associated Press / This aerial photo provided by Medic Corps, shows the destruction brought by Hurricane Dorian on Man-o-War Cay, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept.3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfolding more +

The British Royal Navy was expected to deliver food to the hard-hit Abaco Islands Tuesday night, according to the Bahamian prime minister. The U.S. Department of State said it's providing humanitarian assistance, and the U.S. Coast Guard said it's rescued 61 people.

'Time to get out is running out'

Dorian is now hovering just off the coast of Florida and southern Georgia, pummeling the Sunshine State to Savannah to South Carolina with rain.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire South Carolina and North Carolina coastline, where a dangerous storm surge of up to 8 feet is expected. A tropical storm watch even extends into southern Virginia.

One storm-related death already struck North Carolina. An 85-year-old man fell off a ladder while preparing his Columbus County home for Dorian, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.

As Dorian loomed, evacuations were ordered from Florida's east coast to North Carolina's Outer Banks.

PHOTO: Coreyanna Moore and Madison Moore of Charleston add Dorians name to their hurricane defenses ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 4, 2019.Randall Hill/Reuters / Coreyanna Moore and Madison Moore of Charleston add Dorian's name to their hurricane defenses ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 4, 2019.more +

Kevin McAleenan, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, told Univision that undocumented immigrants should not "worry about immigration enforcement during the storm -- worry about staying safe."

"There will be no routine immigration enforcement during this storm or in the immediate aftermath of this storm," McAleenan said.

Melbourne Beach, Florida, resident Nancy Whiting lives in an evacuation area, but she opted to ride out the storm in her home -- the same as she did for Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Irma in 2017 -- to address leaks right as they hit.

"A lot of the neighbors stayed back. They tend to hunker down, just ride out the storm. They've been through a lot of these before," Whiting told ABC News. "This is what happens in Florida you stay and protect your property and help our your neighbors."

But officials are urging those in evacuation zones to flee the coast immediately.

"If you are still in an evacuation zone you still have time to get out -- but time to get out is running out," South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Wednesday.

PHOTO: An ABC News weather map shows the radar and current wind gusts for Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4, 2019.ABC News / An ABC News weather map shows the radar and current wind gusts for Hurricane Dorian, Sept. 4, 2019.

"It's the water that kills people," McMaster warned, "and it's clear that we're going to have a lot of water."

Storm surge will push the water inland into the marshes and the rivers, he said, and at the same time the rain could reach 15 inches, creating "a collision of water" along the coast.

Although for some, evacuating isn't an option. Frances Eason's husband, David, is spending the hurricane in a Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, hospital.

"We went through [Hurricane] Hugo in 1989 and we went through Florence last October and several in between," Frances Eason told ABC News. "We fared well through it all."

"I think we're safe here," she said.

For coastal residents who choose not to evacuate, Gov. McMaster recommends staying indoors in an interior room and away from windows and glass doors, closing the curtains and blinds, and securing important personal documents.

And even if there's a lull, don't go outside, McMaster warned -- because that could be the eye of the hurricane.

Dorian's path

PHOTO: A weather map from ABC News shows the forecast track for Hurricane Dorian.ABC News / A weather map from ABC News shows the forecast track for Hurricane Dorian.

Dorian is forecast to pass Savannah, Georgia, overnight Wednesday into Thursday, bringing powerful 92 mph wind gusts.

The storm will then come close to Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday morning.

Authorities in Charleston are urging the residents who chose not to evacuate to stay off the roads; authorities say during a storm last year, 40 people were rescues from flooded cars.

From Charleston, the storm will approach North Carolina's coast. Dorian could possibly make landfall in Wilmington Thursday night or make landfall on the state's barrier islands, the Outer Banks, early Friday morning as a Category 2 hurricane.

Dorian is expected to head out to sea by Friday evening.

 

 

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Cuban FM expresses solidarity with Dorian-stricken Bahamas

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla sent a solidarity and support message to the Bahamas government and people, a Caribbean nation intensely hit by Hurricane Dorian.

"Our solidarity and support to the government and people of #Bahamas after the devastating passage of #HuracanDorian. Our collaborators in that sister Caribbean nation are protected and will join the country's recovery efforts, the Cuban diplomat posted on Twitter.

The Bahamian archipelago, made up of some 700 islands, islets and cays and with 400,000 inhabitants, has been devastated by Hurricane Dorian, which since Sunday has beaten its whole territory with winds and rain.

Reports indicate at least five deaths, while some 13,000 homes could have been partially or totally destroyed, in an unprecedented devastating scenario for this nation.

Images show the fury of the winds, floods and swells hitting streets, buildings and coastal infrastructure, without energy or communications, aftermath of a hurricane that reached the top category of Saffir-Simpson, which is five.

Dorian, the most severe hurricane ever formed in the world this year, has broken several meteorological records: it is the most intense in modern times in touching land in the Atlantic, its sustained winds reached 297 kilometers per hour, it is the most severe in the northwest of the Caribbean and the one with the lowest registered atmospheric pressure.

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Hurricane Dorian Inches Closer To Florida After Pounding Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian is beginning a much-advertised turn to the north-northwest, away from the Bahamas but toward the U.S. mainland, where it is expected to bring significant impacts.

As of Tuesday morning, the storm was moving northwest at 1 mph just to the north of Grand Bahama Island and was continuing its historic onslaught in the northwestern Bahamas.

Dorian, which has weakened some to a still-formidable Category 3 storm, slammed into the northwestern Bahamas over the weekend with the historic full fury of its 185-mile-per-hour winds and 23-foot storm surge. Video and images emerging from the Bahamas show a toll of absolute devastation on Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands, two locations where the eye of the storm made landfall.

Grand Bahama Island has suffered an onslaught from this storm that few places on Earth have experienced, remaining in the eyewall of a major Category 4 or 5 storm for 24 hours or more. The eyewall is the region of the storm surrounding its center that contains its strongest winds and generates the most destructive storm-surge flooding.

This is a storm that may have reshaped the northwestern Bahamas, particularly Abaco and Grand Bahama Island, for decades.

On Tuesday, attention turns to U.S. mainland impacts, with hurricane warnings and watches hoisted from the Florida coastline northward to South Carolina. Hurricane conditions, with sustained winds of greater than 74 mph, are forecast to move into the warning area of Florida on Tuesday evening and affect areas farther north beginning Wednesday.

v1t2b45gA man driving a stalled car is pushed by a truck through a flooded street after the effects of Hurricane Dorian arrived in Nassau, Bahamas

In the Southeast, the impacts from Hurricane Dorian do not look nearly as dire as what the Bahamas experienced, with computer models in agreement on keeping the most destructive core of the storm offshore, parallel to the coastline. However, it would not take much of a deviation to bring the highest winds and flooding ashore, and the storm will be capable of inflicting significant damage, depending on its exact track.

"Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast, users are reminded not to [focus] on the exact forecast track," the Hurricane Center stated on Tuesday morning. "A relatively small deviation to the left of this track could bring the core of the hurricane near or over the coastline."

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the storm was 40 miles northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island and moving northwest at 1 mph. The storm's peak sustained winds were 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. Dorian is expected to maintain its current intensity through much of the day on Tuesday.

Radar from South Florida showed Dorian's outermost rain bands pivoting inland producing gusty showers. Around 5 a.m., Juno Beach pier, just north of West Palm Beach, recorded a wind gust to 61 mph as tropical storm conditions continue to spread into Florida.

The storm has grown larger over time, and hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles. The latest forecast from the Hurricane Center calls for Dorian to remain a Category 3 storm until Tuesday night before slowly weakening, but remaining a formidable hurricane, as it makes its closest pass to Florida (around a Category 3) and northward to the Carolinas (around a Category 1 or 2).

The forecast track keeps the storm's most dangerous winds and highest levels of storm-surge flooding from coming ashore in the Sunshine State, but brings the storm close enough to bring heavy rains, damaging winds and storm surge flooding to the east coast of Florida.

However, hurricanes do not always behave as forecast. Despite being Earth's most massive and powerful storms, they're remarkably sensitive to internal and external hiccups. These storms can wobble east or west as they move generally north, for example, like a spinning top on a table.

It wouldn't take much of a wobble to bring the core of the storm ashore over Florida, especially along the Space Coast, where land featuring expensive infrastructure juts out a few more miles to the east of the rest of the Peninsula.

Hurricane warnings are in effect from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida, while hurricane watches extent northward to South Santee River, South Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center." In addition, water levels along the coast are forecast to rise "well in advance of the arrival of strong winds."

Areas that are especially vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, such as Jacksonville, Florida, could once again see significant flooding depending on the exact track and timing of the storm.

According to the Weather Service office in Jacksonville, if the storm tracks close enough to northeastern Florida, the result could be particularly severe. Among the possible effects, it listed: "Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period."

The latest storm-surge forecast shows that if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the area from Lantana (just south of West Palm Beach) to the Charleston area of South Carolina could see four to seven feet of water above ground, while the region from Deerfield Beach to Lantana could experience two to four feet.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday night in coastal Georgia, and by Wednesday in South Carolina and by Thursday in North Carolina. Where and whether Dorian makes landfall will depend on the exact trajectory of its turn relative to the coast as it turns north and then starts to bend northeastward.

The National Hurricane Center is warning that "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center." In addition, water levels along the coast are forecast to rise "well in advance of the arrival of strong winds."

Areas that are especially vulnerable to storm-surge flooding, such as Jacksonville, Florida, could once again see significant flooding depending on the exact track and timing of the storm.

According to the Weather Service office in Jacksonville, if the storm tracks close enough to northeastern Florida, the result could be particularly severe. Among the possible effects, it listed: "Large areas of deep inundation with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period."

The latest storm-surge forecast shows that if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide, the area from Lantana (just south of West Palm Beach) to the Charleston area of South Carolina could see four to seven feet of water above ground, while the region from Deerfield Beach to Lantana could experience two to four feet.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate Tuesday night in coastal Georgia, and by Wednesday in South Carolina and by Thursday in North Carolina. Where and whether Dorian makes landfall will depend on the exact trajectory of its turn relative to the coast as it turns north and then starts to bend northeastward.

https://c.ndtvimg.com/2019-09/gavo9648_hurricane-dorian-florida-reuters-650_625x300_03_September_19.jpg
Residents watch as watch the heavy surf during a mandatory evacuation as Hurricane Dorian inches closer to Florida

The Weather Service is urging residents to prepare for "life-threatening surge having possible extensive impacts across across the coastal counties of Southeast South Carolina and Southeast Georgia."

Scenarios involving a direct hit, a scrape and a graze are possible in Georgia and the Carolinas based on available forecasts. A direct hit is most likely in North Carolina because its coast sticks out into the ocean farthest east.

"There is an increasing likelihood of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week," the Hurricane Center wrote. "Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian and listen to advice given by local emergency officials."

The Georgia and South Carolina coastlines are particularly vulnerable to storm surge flooding, even from a storm that does not make landfall, due to the shape of the land on and just offshore, as well as the effects of sea level rise and land subsidence over time.

Locations even farther north from Virginia Beach to the Delmarva and even up to Cape Cod could get brushed by the storm Friday and Saturday, with heavy rains and gusty, tropical storm force winds.

While computer model projections all show that Hurricane Dorian will remain just off the East Coast of the U.S., there is still uncertainty involved in that forecast, especially since the storm has yet to begin its northward trek.

The track is especially dependent on the intensity and orientation of a trough of low pressure, or dip in the jet stream that is helping to draw the storm northward and eventually shunt it northeast out into the North Atlantic. If that weather feature or any others currently on the map, such as a weakening high to the storm's east, do not evolve as anticipated, the storm could pull a wild card turn toward or further away from land.

In particular, the timing of its next two turns over the coming days becomes crucial. In order to avoid making landfall along the East Coast, the storm will need to turn to the north, and eventually northeast, at just the right moments.

Computer models are in agreement that the timing will work out, and there will be no landfall, but there is very little room for error, given that the track forecast is so close to the coast.

This is a formidable storm that coastal residents are eyeing especially warily, hoping that the forecasts are right. It's also a turning point in meteorology, in which the science has advanced to the point where local officials in southern Florida, who saw a buzzsaw of a hurricane moving west, directly at them, made the decision not to evacuate the coastline due to the forecast guidance that the storm would turn away.

As Dorian approached over the weekend, the Hurricane Center used dire language to describe the threat, including the word "catastrophic." Unfortunately, it appears that was the result, particularly in the Abaco Islands and on Grand Bahama Island.

On Grand Bahama, parts of the island were exposed to the full fury of the storm's eyewall for an unimaginable 20-plus hours. Typically such storms move fast enough to expose one spot to their full fury for a few hours or less. But in this case, the storm reached Grand Bahama and stopped moving, with Hurricane Hunter aircraft finding essentially no movement each time they got to the storm's center.

While grim news is emerging from Abaco, it may take longer to get a detailed picture of how Grand Bahama Island, where Freeport, a city of about 27,000, is located, fared in the storm. On Monday evening, the Hurricane Center released a statement saying it expected additional "extreme destruction" on the island overnight due to a combination of extreme winds and storm surge flooding.

The overwhelming majority of computer model forecasts keep the center of Dorian just to the east of the Florida coast, as well as Georgia and South Carolina, rather than bringing the eye of the storm ashore. However, it appears it will be a close call as to whether the storm makes landfall in eastern North Carolina on Friday.

The NWS is forecasting heavy rains to overspread areas from coastal Florida toward the Mid-Atlantic this week, with the potential for 15-inch amounts to occur in far eastern North Carolina in particular.

Dorian is tied for the second-strongest storm (as judged by its maximum sustained winds) ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, behind Hurricane Allen of 1980, and, after striking the northern Bahamas, tied with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the title of the strongest Atlantic hurricane at landfall.

It is only the second Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas since 1983, according to Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University. The only other is Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The international hurricane database goes back continuously only to 1983.

[Hurricane Dorian has smashed all sorts of intensity records in the Atlantic Ocean]

The storm's peak sustained winds rank as the strongest so far north in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida on record. Its pressure, which bottomed out at 910 millibars, is significantly lower than Hurricane Andrew's when it made landfall in South Florida in 1992 (the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm).

With Dorian attaining Category 5 strength, this is the first time since the start of the satellite era (in the 1960s) that Category 5 storms have developed in the tropical Atlantic for four straight years, according to Capital Weather Gang tropical weather expert Brian McNoldy.

The unusual strength of Dorian and the rate at which it developed is consistent with the expectation of more intense hurricanes in a warming world. Some studies have shown increases in hurricane rapid intensification, and modeling studies project an uptick in the frequency of Category 4 and 5 storms.

Dorian may have also set a record for the longest period of Category 4 and 5 conditions to strike one location in the North Atlantic Basin since the dawn of the satellite era, but historical data is relatively sparse.

 
 
 
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Hurricane Matthew death toll rises as it approaches Florida

Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 39 people, the death toll in struggling Haiti alone rising to 35, local officials said, as the storm headed northward Thursday, battering the Bahamas en route to Florida.

Haiti’s civil protection service put the toll in the impoverished Caribbean nation at 23 dead, many killed by falling trees, flying debris and swollen rivers. The interior ministry and a local mayor confirmed 12 other deaths to Reuters across Haiti.

Four people were killed earlier in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

Matthew is the strongest hurricane in the Caribbean since Felix struck in 2007. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it whipped Cuba and Haiti with 140-mph winds and torrential rain, pummeling towns and destroying livestock, crops and homes.

The devastation in Haiti prompted authorities to postpone a presidential election originally planned for Sunday.

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