The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) termed Hurricane Dorian “life threatening” and asked people to refrain from leaving shelters and venturing out Monday, as the eye of the hurricane passes over the Grand Bahama. The massive hurricane has so far claimed one life, that of a 8-year-old boy.

Dorian edges closer to Florida, menaces southeast coasts

Hurricane Dorian is expected to veer northwest towards the U.S. coast in a couple days from Monday night through Wednesday evening. Though the category 5 storm was 120 miles away from the coast of Florida, but strong winds and high waves were already being experienced by residents in the southeast coast.

Close to one million people were ordered evacuated from the U.S. coasts including Florida and South Carolina. Most forecasts show the storm remaining largely off-shore, 40 to 50 miles away, with strong winds and high surf set to do considerable damage along the coast.

This satellite image obtained from NOAA/RAMMB shows Tropical Storm Dorian as it approaches the Bahamas at 13:40 UTC on September 1, 2019
This satellite image obtained from NOAA/RAMMB shows Tropical Storm Dorian as it approaches the Bahamas at 13:40 UTC on September 1, 2019 NOAA/RAMMB / HO

Hurricane Dorian will continue to cause ;extreme destruction' Monday

According to the NHC, the hurricane is set to keep pounding and cause “extreme destruction” in the Bahamas Monday. The residents of Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama have been instructed to remain sheltered till the hurricane passes.

"This is a life-threatening situation. Winds will rapidly increase on the other side of the eye," the NHC said.

According to the NHC’s update Monday, the winds are set to rise to a speed of 200 mph. The sea is set to rise 18 to 23 feet above normal tide levels with destructive waves. The extremely destructive conditions are set to last in the northern islands of Bahamas for most of the day, before eventually subsiding.

The Eye of Dorian is moving very slowly at 1 mph

On Sunday, Dorian had battered Abaco islands with strong winds, causing huge damage to property and leaving many residents homeless, officials reported. Dorian is moving very slowly westward to northward at a speed of 1 mph, which might result in the eye of the hurricane taking almost 9 hours to pass through the Grand Bahama.

According to early reports, Dorian continues to pound the Bahamas early Monday morning. Although forecasts predict that Hurricane Dorian would gradually weaken, it is expected to take at least two days for that to happen.

First death caused by Dorian reported as 8-year old drowns

An 8-year old boy who drowned, is the first and the only reported death caused by Hurricane Dorian -- so far. According to local news outlets Eyewitness news and Bahamas Press, the body of the 8-year old boy was found by his mother on Abaco Island. He is believed to have drowned in rising waters.

“All I can say is that my daughter called from Abaco and said that her son -- my grandson -- is dead. That’s it. I don’t know what really happened. I think she said he drowned,” the boy’s grandmother Ingrid McIntosh told Eyewitness news. Her granddaughter too is reportedly missing.

13,000 homes have been destroyed by the strong winds

According to a statement released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the category 5 winds and rains have destroyed or severely damaged as many as 13,000 homes. There is also an urgent need of clean water in the island of Abaco after the wells were contaminated due to excessive flooding.

“We don’t yet have a complete picture of what has happened. But it is clear that Hurricane Dorian has had a catastrophic impact. We anticipate extensive shelter needs, alongside the need for short-term economic support, as well as for clean water and health assistance,” Sane Bulow, head of IFRC emergency operation centre in Geneva said.

Commonwealth and IFRC to support Bahamas weather the storm

Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary General, said Monday that the Commonwealth nations were ready to support Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

“Commonwealth family stands ready to offer both short-term and long-term support," she said in a tweet.

The IFRC too released 250,000 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF), as its first wave to bolster the Red Cross response in Bahamas to support almost 500 families.