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Real-time updates: Hurricane Dorian on its way to Florida



  The Bahamas are preparing for the Category 4 hurricane.
The Bahamas are preparing for the Category 4 hurricane. Ramon Espinosa / AP

When Doric barrels drove towards the island chain on Saturday, a hurricane warning was issued in areas in the northwestern Bahamas, according to a warning issued by the Bahamas Department of Meteorology on Friday.

The Bahamas consists of more than 700 predominantly low-lying islands – some only a few meters above sea level. Dorian is expected to be near or over the island chain on Sunday.

Hurricane warnings apply to the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence in the Bahamas. A Hurricane Watch for Andros Island remains in effect.

The forecast assumes that Dorian will cause "large and destructive waves" on Sundays of up to 15 feet along the "eastern and northern coast of Eleuthera and Abaco" as well as the north and south coasts of Grand Bahama by Sunday night until Monday morning.

  People shop in Freeport, The Bahamas on Friday before Dorian arrives.
People shop in Freeport, The Bahamas on Friday before Dorian arrives. Tim Aylen / AP

On Friday, Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis ordered the evacuation of residents of the northern Keys from Abaco to the mainland of Abaco. Additional evacuation orders were issued for areas on Grand Bahama Island.

Both Grand Bahama and Abaco are hubs of the tourism industry in the Bahamas, which plays an important role in the economy of the island chain.

According to Reuters, tourists left the islands on Friday before the international airport closed that evening.

Tourism Director-General Joy Jibrilu told Reuters that the land of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 was "still in turmoil", hitting the archipelago with strong Category 4 winds.


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