Hurricane Dorian, that wreaked havoc in the Bahamas, made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday, Reuters reported.
The Category 1 storm, with 150-km-per-hour winds, made landfall at Cape Hatteras at around 9 am EDT (6.30 pm IST), the National Hurricane Centre said. It lashed the Outer Banks with hurricane-force winds as far as 72 km from the center of the hurricane and sent tropical storm winds farther than 320 km from its center, the NHC said. The weather forecasters said the storm has dumped up to 10 inches (25 cm) of rain along the coast between Charleston, South Carolina, to Wilmington, North Carolina, about 170 miles (275 km) away.
“It’s in the process of moving out, going north,” Reuters quoted National Weather Service forecaster Alex Lamers as saying.
“Even the Raleigh-Durham area inland will get 3 inches today,” he said.
Expected to push out to sea later today, Dorian is likely to bring tropical storm winds to Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, early on Saturday. However, before making landfall in Canada’s Nova Scotia, the hurricane will likely spare much of the rest of the East Coast the worst of its rain and wind, the NHC said.
Since early Thursday, the then Category 5 storm, Dorian had soaked Carolina, flooding coastal towns, with a dozen tornadoes and massive power cuts. More than 333,000 homes and businesses were without power in North and South Carolina today early morning.
However, as Dorian is expected to pick up speed today, life-threatening storm surges and winds remain a threat for much of the area and Virginia, the NHC said.
Thousands of people went missing, mostly children, after the worst hurricane hit the Bahamas. The storm has so far claimed at least 30 lives, officials told CNN. Incidents of looting were witnessed as well — residents breaking into liquor stores and supermarkets and carrying off goods and bags.
Governors of the region had declared a state of emergency and schools were shut, shelters were opened, National Guard troops were prepped as news media circulated fresh images of the storm’s devastation in the Bahamas.
Dorian became the most damaging storm to hit the island nation, leaving at least 70,000 Bahamians in need of immediate humanitarian relief. In North and South Carolina, more than 900,000 people were ordered to evacuate their homes.
According to officials, Dorian whipped up at least three tornadoes in the region. Of at least four storm-related deaths reported in the United States, three were in Orange County, Florida, during storm preparations or evacuation, the mayor’s office said.
AID FROM UN
The UN World Food Programme allocated $5.4 million to a three-month emergency operation to support 39,000 people, Reuters quoted WFP Senior Spokesperson Hervé Verhoosel.
A flight from the US agency for International Development landed on Thursday with relief supplies to help around 31,500 people. They brought with them hygiene kits, water containers and buckets, plastic sheeting and chain saws.
The WFP said on Thursday it was organising an airlift from Panama of storage units, generators and prefab offices for two logistics hubs, as well as satellite equipment for emergency responders, and has bought eight metric tonnes of ready-to-eat meals, Reuters reported.
The Netherlands’ ambassador to the United Nations had tweeted that the country was sending two naval ships with supplies from St Maarten, a Dutch island about 1,100 miles (1,770 km) southeast of the Bahamas.