Hurricane Dorian bashes Bahamas, inches towards Florida coast

An image of Hurricane Dorian taken from the International Space Station on Monday September

An image of Hurricane Dorian taken from the International Space Station on Monday September

Dorian was expected to approach the Florida coast later yesterday, but the threat to the U.S. state had eased, with the National Hurricane Centre's projected track showing most of the coast just outside the cone of potential landfall.

One Twitter post with the handle @mvp242 described how "victims are being loaded on flatbed trucks across Abaco", showing a rain-blurred photo of limp bodies strewn across a truck bed.

Practically parking itself over the Bahamas for 11/2 days, Hurricane Dorian pounded away at the islands yesterday in a catastrophic onslaught that sent flood waters up to the second floors of buildings, trapped people in attics and chased others from one shelter to another.

In another, a woman repeatedly says: "Please, pray for us", after the storm ripped the roof off her apartment building and she sheltered on top with her 4-month old baby and other residents.

The Finnish satellite company ICEYE, which uses synthetic-aperture radar to discern features on Earth's surface, released an image taken by its satellite on Monday at 11:44 a.m. local time that shows the areas that were probably inundated on Grand Bahama Island.

Bahamian officials said they received a "tremendous" number of calls from people in flooded homes.

"We don't want people thinking we've forgotten them".

Tropical-storm-force winds hampered the efforts, flipping over some of the jet skis. "Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next couple of days", the NHS said. A few private aid groups also tried to reach the battered islands in the northern Bahamas.

The OCHA statement said the authorities on Abaco island were talking of "catastrophic damage", while emergency officials on Grand Bahama were reporting massive flooding there.

In the Bahamas, Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses, or about 45% of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco, were believed to be severely damaged or destroyed.

"We wanted to go out there, but that's not a risk we're capable of taking", a representative of the Bahamas' National Emergency Management Agency told ZNS Bahamas radio station.

While the threat of a direct hit on Florida has largely evaporated, Dorian was expected to pass dangerously close to Georgia and SC, and possibly strike North Carolina, on Thursday or Friday (local time).

The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people injured on Abaco.

A hurricane watch was in effect for Florida's East Coast from Deerfield Beach north to South Santee River in SC.

Forecasters have told Floridians not to become complacent.

The United Nations and the International Red Cross began mobilising to deal with the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the Bahamas.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center is now forecasting that Hurricane Dorian will inch up the Florida coast over the next few days, reaching Georgia on Thursday (Sept. 5) and North Carolina on Friday (Sept. 6).

"I know it's a mandatory evacuation, but everyone I talked to is staying, and I don't know what to do".

Space station image of Hurricane Dorian captures storm’s monstrous eye
Dorian Upgraded to Category 3 Hurricane as it Approaches Florida