People Report Seeing Bodies As Hurricane Dorian Causes 'Extreme Destruction'
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Hurricane Dorian has brought 'extreme destruction' to the Bahamas, with the category five storm sweeping across the islands.
And as well as devastating the region and destroying around 13,000 homes, local authorities have now said they have received a number of reports of deaths with people claiming to have seen bodies.
Speaking about the storm, Darren Henfield, the Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs said: "From all accounts, we have received catastrophic damage. We have reports of casualties. We have reports of bodies being seen. We cannot confirm those reports until we go out and see for ourselves."
Speaking to Eyewitness News, a grandmother said the storm had claimed the life of her eight-year-old grandson.
Ingrid McIntosh told the publication: "My daughter said our son, my grandson, dead. There ain't nothing more I can say because I don't know what really happened. I think they said he drowned. How am I supposed to feel, my grandson's dead."
The storm, said to be the second-strongest Atlantic storm ever recorded, brought winds of around 225mph and up to 30 inches of rain, leaving Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport under five feet of water by this morning.
According to reports, the storm is now moving westwards at around 1mph, with the southeast coast of the US preparing itself for the worst.
Earlier today, officials in South Carolina ordered a mandatory evacuation of the state's coast.
Governor Henry McMaster has worked with local officials and made the decision to empty the coast of South Carolina of its residents for their personal safety.
South Carolina ETV lists the zones that must be evacuated no later than noon on 2 September. They are: Colleton County Evacuation Zones A and B, Beaufort County Evacuation Zone A, Jasper County Evacuation Zone A, Charleston County Evacuation Zones A, B and C, Dorchester County Evacuation Zone D, Berkeley County Evacuation Zones B and G, Horry County Evacuation Zone A and Georgetown County Evacuation Zone A.
Evacuation shelter locations will be available on scemd.org and in the SC Emergency Manager mobile app as soon as they are opened.
The governor advised in a press release that evacuees should pack the following essential items in case the evacuation period is lengthy: required medications, adequate clothing and essential personal items. Residents going to evacuation shelters should bring their own blankets, pillows, cots and special food items if they are on restricted diets.