Rescue efforts have been stepped up in parts of the Bahamas worst hit by Hurricane Dorian, as hundreds scramble to flee the destruction.
Cruise liners, private planes and helicopters are all being used to help those still trapped in the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama.
The death toll stands at 43 but is expected to increase further.
Meanwhile, Dorian has gained strength off the US east coast and blew into the Canadian province of Nova Scotia with a vengeance. As it continues to move along Canada’s Maritime Provinces, nearly 380,000 homes are without power according to Nova Scotia Power.
The company said in an update on Facebook that “the full picture of damage won’t be known until later today.”
Dorian is now a post-tropical cyclone, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory on Saturday evening ahead of an expected landfall in Canada.
Dorian lost its status as a hurricane is because it no longer has a warm core, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman explained, though it is still a low-pressure system.
But even though it’s no longer classified as a hurricane, the storm is still dangerous with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph — the equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane warnings remain in effect for parts of the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, the center said.
“While the change in classification is technical, the fact of the matter is it’s still a dangerous situation and people in the area should not let their guard down,” Norman said.
Dorian was at category five when it made landfall in the Bahamas last Sunday with winds reaching 185mph.
Officials believe hundreds of bodies are yet to be found in areas flattened by the winds or smashed by storm surges.
Dr Caroline Burnett-Garraway, medical chief of staff at Princess Margaret Hospital in the capital Nassau, said two refrigerated trucks were being sent to the area, adding: “We’ve ordered lots of body bags.”
What’s the latest?
Thousands of survivors have been lining up in Freeport, Grand Bahama, hoping to board cruise ships offering free passage to Florida. There were similar scenes in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco, where people queued for private boats to take them to safety.
Evacuees from Great Abaco have been arriving in Nassau, bringing with them stories of worsening conditions in the storm-ravaged islands.
At the main Abaco airport on Saturday, Chamika Durosier was hoping to find a plane to safety.
“The home that we were in fell on us. We had to crawl – got out crawling,” she said.
“It’s been almost a week and people are still here. People have no food. People have no water. Dead bodies are still around and it’s not sanitary.”
How is the relief effort going?
UN officials said about 70,000 people in Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands were in need of assistance.