North America

Dorian death toll rises to 44 in Bahamas

Dorian left a path of destruction. Source: New York Times

The death toll in the Bahamas from Hurricane Dorian has risen to 44, the government says.

The government in the Bahamas says the death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen by one to 44.

Health Minister Duane Sands on Sunday confirmed the toll in a WhatsApp message to The Associated Press.

Officials have warned that the number of deaths is likely to rise as security forces and other teams search devastated areas of the northern Bahamas.

Five-year-old Cattleya Aranha helps to distribute paper rolls donated by private entities to victims of Hurricane Dorian, in Freeport, Bahamas.
Five-year-old Cattleya Aranha helps to distribute paper rolls donated by private entities to victims of Hurricane Dorian, in Freeport, Bahamas.

The government also announced a telephone hotline where Bahamians can call to report family members who have been unaccounted for since the storm.

At least five deaths have been blamed on the storm in the Southeastern US and one in Puerto Rico.

Dorian lashes Canada

The storm that already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina has lashed at far-eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people before beginning to weaken.

Dorian hit near the city of Halifax on Saturday afternoon, ripping roofs off apartment buildings, toppling a huge construction crane and uprooting trees.

There were no reported deaths in Canada, though the storm was blamed for at least 50 elsewhere along its path.

The US National Hurricane Center said the post-tropical cyclone was centred about 45 kilometres east-northeast of St. Anthony, Newfoundland, on Sunday night.

Its top sustained winds had fallen to 95km/h after being above the 120km/h threshold of hurricane-force earlier in the day and were at 37km/h as the storm headed further northeast.

The storm swept over northwestern Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador during the afternoon and began moving out over the North Atlantic in the evening.

Nova Scotia officials asked people in the province to stay off the roads so crews could safely remove trees and debris and restore power.

The government said up to 700 Canadian troops would be fanning out across the Maritimes to help restore electricity, clear roadways and evacuate residents in flooded areas.

Nova Scotia Power Inc. chief executive Karen Hutt said over 400,000 customers - about 80 per cent of Nova Scotia's homes and businesses - were blacked out at the peak of the storm and 50,000 had since been restored, with some remaining without power for days.

Power was also cut to thousands of residents on Prince Edward Island and in southern New Brunswick.

By far the greatest devastation caused by the storm was in the Bahamas, where Dorian struck a week ago as a Category 5 hurricane with 295km/h winds, with the death toll rising by one to 44 on Sunday.
Thousands of homes have been obliterated, while planes, cruise ships and yachts are evacuating people from the Abaco Islands and officials are trying to reach areas still isolated by flooding and debris.
The storm's worst damage in the US appeared to be on Ocracoke Island, which is accessible only by boat or air and is popular with tourists for its undeveloped beaches.

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