Hurricane Dorian, which intensified to a category 5 storm capable of inflicting catastrophic levels of destruction, has made landfall on an island chain in the northern Bahamas.
Massive waves, torrential rain and sustained winds of 285 kilometres per hour were reported as Dorian hit Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands on Sunday at 12:40pm (16:40 GMT), the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said.
The storm’s arrival poses a “life-threatening situation”, the NHC said.
The hurricane was the strongest recorded in modern history in the northwestern Bahamas, according to the National Weather Service. The NHC said it was tied for the strongest hurricane landfall in the Atlantic with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane.
Residents reported power outages, flooding, roofs ripped off of buildings and the destruction of docks as the eyewall of the storm passed directly over the island. The property damage was “devastating”, said Joy Jibrily, director general of the Bahamas’ ministry of tourism and aviation, but no deaths had been reported by early evening on Sunday.