Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a catastrophic Category 5 storm Sunday, packing 267 kph winds as it was about to slam into the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, US weather forecasters said.
“#Dorian is now a category 5 #hurricane with 160 mph sustained winds,” the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in a tweet.
“The eyewall of this catastrophic hurricane is about to hit the Abaco Islands with devastating winds,” it said.
Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis begged residents of Abaco and Grand Bahamas to head for the main island to escape the “devastating, dangerous” storm.
“I want you to remember: Homes, houses, structures can be replaced. Lives cannot be replaced,” he told a news conference on Saturday, adding that 73,000 people and 21,000 homes were at risk to storm surges, which are predicted to reach up to 6.1 meters.