The Guardian’s Oliver Laughland is in Nassau, the Bahamas where the country’s prime minister has warned of “general devastation” in the archipelago’s northern region:
Large areas remain inaccessible to rescue crews, who continue to prioritise emergency evacuations, meaning the full scale of devastation caused by the hurricane is still not completely clear.
Mark Lowcock, the United Nations under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told the Guardian that the agency estimates about 70,000 people in the northern Bahamas remain in need of relief assistance.
At the main rescue centre in Nassau, the Bahamas capital city, US Coast Guard and Royal Marines helicopters arrived sporadically throughout the day bringing in dozens of rescued people from the Abacos Islands.
Where Dorian is and where it is forecast to go
The eye of Dorian is off the coast of South Carolina and it’s moving north-northeast at 8 mph. The eye is projected to remain just off the coast of the eastern US, moving past South Carolina late Thursday.
Strong wind gusts, flash floods and strong rains are forecast in the Carolinas as the storm moves north. It is expected to pass by North Carolina on Friday while weakening in strength.
There is a high risk of flash flooding on the North and South Carolina coasts and a moderate risk of flash flooding in Virginia. Tornadoes have been spotted across the states because of the strong winds from Dorian.
Hurricane Dorian is drenching North and South Carolina after devastating the Bahamas, where it left at least 20 people dead.
Overnight, the eye of the hurricane churned off the coast of South Carolina, where dangerously high winds and rain caused power outages for tens of thousands of people. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the category 3 strength hurricane could maintain intensity for several days before weakening through Saturday.
We’ll have updates here as the hurricane moves north as well as dispatches from the Bahamas and other regions most impacted by the storm.