Hundreds of Hurricane Dorian victims have fled the Bahamas as thousands more anxiously await evacuation from the devastated islands.
The hurricane tore through the islands earlier this week, leaving a trail of destruction and a humanitarian crisis in its wake.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, speaking to survivors at the port in Abaco, called for calm and promised more free transport.
Now a category one hurricane, Dorian is currently churning along the eastern US seaboard towards Nova Scotia.
Earlier on Friday, hundreds who refused to evacuate Ocracoke Island in North Carolina were stranded when the hurricane made landfall.
What’s happening with evacuations in the Bahamas?
On Friday, many of the evacuations were carried out by private boats and planes, as the Bahamian government awaited the arrival of other transport.
Helicopters and boats have been deployed but could be delayed by severe flooding, the Bahamian Health Ministry said.
One survivor, 75-year-old Firstina Swain, told Reuters news agency the “people of Abaco need to get out” because “there are too many bodies”.
“Nobody can help anybody in Abaco, there’s no place safe, everything is destroyed,” she said.
Chaotic air traffic control is said to be hampering relief and evacuations operations, the Miami Herald reports.
Where is Hurricane Dorian now?
At 23:00 local time on Friday (03:00 GMT Saturday) Dorian was 200 miles (325km) south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, moving south-east at a speed of 25mph (41 km/h).
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Dorian was moving towards Nova Scotia “in a hurry”.
“On the forecast track, the centre of Dorian should pass to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England Saturday morning, and then across Nova Scotia late Saturday,” the NHC said.
Forecasters said 10 inches (25 cm) of rain had fallen between the coasts of Charleston in South Carolina and Wilmington 170 miles away in North Carolina.
What is the damage to the Bahamas?
Dorian hit the Bahamas as a category five hurricane with winds reaching 185mph (298km/h). It matched the highest ever recorded at landfall, and stayed over affected areas for two days.
Officials say hundreds, possibly thousands, are still missing and the final death toll could be “staggering”.
Late on Friday, various media outlets cited Health Minister Duane Sands as confirming a new official death toll, up from 30 to 43.
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