Hurricane Dorian continued pounding away at the Bahamas on Tuesday, which is devastating for the people there -- many of whom are up in their attics -- as well as for their homes and the crippled hospitals.
At least five deaths were reported, with the full extent of the damage far from clear.
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The United Nations and the International Red Cross began mobilizing to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis called it “a historic tragedy.”
Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses, or about 45% of the homes in Grand Bahama and Abaco, were believed to have been severely damaged or destroyed.
U.N. officials said more than 60,000 people on the hard-hit islands will need food, and the Red Cross said some 62,000 will need clean drinking water.
Dorian was on track to approach the Florida coast later Tuesday, but the threat to the state eased significantly, with forecasters not expecting a direct hit after all. The forecast instead showed North Carolina in the crosshairs toward the end of the week.
As Labor Day weekend drew to a close, more than 2 million people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were warned to evacuate for fear Dorian could bring life-threatening storm-surge flooding even if the hurricane’s center stayed offshore, as forecast. Several large airports announced closings, and hundreds of flights were canceled.
The only recorded hurricane more powerful than Dorian was Allen in 1980, with 190 mph winds, though it did not hit land at that strength.
Below are 9 photos from Florida.
People take photos as the sun rises over a nearly empty beach as Hurricane Dorian lingers offshore Tuesday in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The massive, slow-moving hurricane that devastated parts of the Bahamas and once was predicted to make landfall near Cocoa Beach, is now expected to stay off the Florida coast (Scott Olson/Getty Images).
Two men observe a squall caused by Hurricane Dorian, which is looming in the Atlantic Ocean, on Tuesday in Ormond Beach, Florida. Dorian, once expected to make landfall along the Florida coast as a Category 4 storm, is currently predicted to turn north and stay off the coast, lessening the impact on the area (Mark Wilson/Getty Images).
A woman takes a picture as the effects of Hurricane Dorian begin to be felt Monday in Cocoa Beach (Scott Olson/Getty Images).
A woman seeks cover from wind, blowing sand and rain whipped up by Hurricane Dorian as she walks on the beach Monday in Cocoa Beach (Scott Olson/Getty Images).
In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian is shown moving slowly past Grand Bahama Island on Monday in the Atlantic Ocean (NOAA via Getty Images).
Workers place shutters over the windows of a Food Mart store as the owner prepares, just in case Hurricane Dorian hits the area in Riviera Beach, Florida (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).
Waves roll in to shore as Hurricane Dorian continued to make its way toward the Florida coast Monday in Indialantic, Florida (Scott Olson/Getty Images).
People were seen making sandbags Saturday at the city’s municipal center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida (Mark Wilson/Getty Images).
A shopper walks past the empty bread shelves in a Walmart store as people stocked up before the possible arrival of Hurricane Dorian on Friday (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).
Graham Media Group/The Associated Press