Dorian hurricane strengthens to Category 3, death toll increases

A family is escorted to a safe zone after they were rescued as Hurricane Dorian continues to rain in Freeport, Bahamas. (AP)

Hurricane Dorian, which has left at least 20 people dead in the Bahamas, was upgraded to a Category 3 storm late Wednesday as it bore down on the southeast US coast, meteorologists said.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Dorian, which has already wrought major damage on Grand Bahama and Abaco islands, was packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 kilometers per hour), making it a Category 3 storm on the five-level scale.

At 11:00 pm (0300 GMT Thursday), the NHC said Dorian was located 105 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina and moving north at around seven miles per hour.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00