Hurricane Dorian has been upgraded to a hurricane of the most dangerous category. It is currently moving to the Bahamas in the western Atlantic at wind speeds of up to 260 kilometers per hour, according to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm could weaken again in the coming days on the way to the US East Coast, but will remain a very dangerous hurricane. The fifth and highest category refers to "catastrophic" hurricanes that typically cover a large part of the roofs on land or collapse houses, bend trees and electricity pylons, and permanently damage electricity, water and communication networks.
The Bahamas authorities called on nearly 400,000 people in the archipelago east of Florida to go to shelters and higher elevations. Due to the storm, meteorologists fear massive rainfall, storm surges of up to six meters in height and "destructive winds". The center of the storm is currently moving slowly to the west. Dorian could therefore hang over the island group for a long time on Monday and cause serious damage.
State of emergency imposed in three US states
The US hurricane center imposed a tropical storm warning on parts of Florida's east coast. Meteorologists estimate that the storm is expected to turn north on Monday night or Tuesday offshore to the states of Georgia and South Carolina. However, according to the latest forecast, Dorian Florida is so close that dangerous winds of tropical storm strength can be expected almost along the entire coastline. Heavy hail, flooding and destructive winds are also expected there, as well as in Georgia and South Carolina, according to the hurricane center.
The states of South Carolina, Florida and Georgia over the weekend imposed the emergency in order to accelerate the regulatory preparations for the hurricane. US President Donald Trump had said on Friday that possible evacuations could only be decided on Sunday. The president, who had flown to play golf on Saturday, wanted to consult on Sunday with the civil protection authority Fema to the storm preparations. Previously, Trump had canceled a trip to World War II memory in Poland because of Dorian.
Local politicians called on residents of affected states to stock up on enough drinking water, medicines and food. Each family should have enough gas available to leave the area quickly in case of doubt. In supermarkets formed long lines. Many citizens also filled up sandbags to guard against flooding. The storm warning hits the US on an extended weekend - Monday is a holiday there. Some airlines let passengers rebook flights for free, as US media reported.