Hurricane Dorian batters the Bahamas claiming life of boy, 7

2 September 2019, 13:00 | Updated: 2 September 2019, 20:19

A resident stands in surf at Jupiter Beach Florida as Hurricane Dorian hits
A resident stands in surf at Jupiter Beach Florida as Hurricane Dorian hits. Picture: pa
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A deadly storm which battered the Bahamas with 220mph winds and claimed the life of a seven-year-old boy is approaching the east coast of the US.

Hurricane Dorian killed young Lachino Mcintosh as he fled with his family from their Abaco Islands home.

The young boy drowned, according to local reports. Lachino’s sister is also among the growing number of people missing in the Caribbean archipelago, as families become “frantic" searching for information about their relatives.

Communities in the Bahamas have suffered from floods and the Grand Bahama International Airport is now under 5ft of water.

It comes as the category five hurricane, the second most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record, has brought gusts of up to 220mph with a sustained speed of 175mph.

The storm is moving slowly westward towards the east coast of the US, with several south-eastern states having already declared states of emergency.

“Life-threatening” storm surges of 23ft (7m) are predicted to rock the Bahamas throughout Monday and into the evening with power outages affecting the islands.

Donald Trump tweeted that Americans should “pray for the people in the Bahamas” as the Caribbean nation braces itself to be “hit like never before”.

Bahamian prime minister Hubert Minnis told a nationally televised news conference that the “monster storm” would be the biggest test to have ever confronted his country.

He said: “This is probably the most sad and worst day of my life to address the Bahamian people. I just want to say as a physician I’ve been trained to withstand many things, but never anything like this.”

Information coming out of Abaco Island is scarce due to limited internet access and power cuts, but residents have been told to evacuate coastal areas and head for the main island.

The people of Abaco, which has a population of about 17,000, have uploaded videos and images to social media, with cars being flipped over, roofs ripped off houses and floods devastating streets.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami confirmed that Dorian’s waves and winds tied the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall record.

Though an exact US landfall date and time is unknown, the NHC said the storm would “move dangerously close to the Florida east coast” on Monday night and continue northbound throughout the rest of the week.