Washington - Hurricane Dorian killed at least five people and caused "unprecedented" devastation in the Bahamas, the country's prime minister said Monday as the monster storm remained almost stationary over the two northern islands of the Caribbean chain for more than 30 hours.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis gave an early accounting of the situation on Grand Bahama Island and the Abaco Islands at a news conference, saying his country was "in the midst of a historic tragedy."
Minnis said 21 other people had been injured and flown to a hospital in the capital Nassau, with five in serious condition. Search and rescue efforts were hampered by the storm Monday but would begin in earnest by Tuesday morning, he added.
Dorian was downgraded from a category 5 hurricane - the highest level - to a category 4 as it stalled over Atlantic Ocean archipelago, pummelling the islands with winds strong enough to rip the roofs off homes and topple trees, and a storm surge that brought intense flooding.
Videos posted on social media showed downed telephone poles, cars flipped over and massive waves crashing ashore in heavy rain in the Bahamas, an independent country within the British Commonwealth.