Storm Dorian is still generating powerful sustained winds of 80mph as it moves north along the east coast of Canada, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power.
Although the tropical cyclone has weakened significantly since it devastated the Bahamas earlier this week, forecasters remain wary of saying it no longer poses a threat ahead of its arrival at the island of Newfoundland.
The storm – which is no longer classed as a hurricane – first arrived on the Atlantic coast of Canada on Saturday, bringing with it heavy rain and powerful winds that toppled a construction crane in Halifax and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people.
Evacuations have taken place near the coast to the south, with locals having seen the strong gales rip the roof off of an apartment building that was under construction.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre has since discontinued warnings for the regions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, where Halifax is located, but people are being urged to stay vigilant of a storm that has wreaked havoc in the Bahamas for much of the past week.
Conditions are said to have “rapidly” deteriorated in the Caribbean since Dorian hit, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless and damage of around $3bn (£2.4bn) to insured property.
The official number of dead – 43 – is also expected to rise as the situation becomes clearer.
Dorian was a category five hurricane when it hit the Bahamas – a classification such storms receive when it generates wind speeds of above 157mph.
Dorian peaked with gusts up to 220mph (354kph), equalling the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to make landfall, and left Bahamians facing up to what the prime minister described as an “hour of darkness”.
“We acknowledge that there are many missing and that the number of deaths is expected to significantly increase,” said the country’s leader Hubert Minnis.
“This is one of the stark realities we are facing in this hour of darkness.”
International aid efforts are focused on the Bahamas, where the US Coast Guard said it has rescued 290 people.
Cruise ships have also been helping to deliver supplies, health workers and emergency crews to the islands, and ferrying survivors to the US.
About 1,100 people who had been evacuated by ship arrived in Florida, weary but safe, and aid is arriving from a number of countries – including Britain, which has sent Royal Navy medics and pledged £1.5m in aid.
The Royal Navy has so far provided emergency shelter and hygiene kits for hundreds of people, more than 8,000 bottles of water and hundreds of days worth of food.
Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN world food programme, said the needs “remain enormous”.
He added: “Evacuations are slowly taking place by ferry, as hundreds of residents reportedly flee daily.”
Red Cross spokeswoman Jennifer Eli said: “Our relief operation is growing, but we are also facing serious challenges in terms of delivering aid.
“Even search-and-rescue choppers haven’t been able to reach some people because there’s no place to land. These challenges are affecting everyone.”
Once it had left the Bahamas, Dorian headed up the US east coast.
The storm made its biggest impact in North Carolina, where officials say two people have died as a result.
At least five deaths in southeastern states, including Florida, have been blamed on Dorian.
Most of them came through fatal falls or by electrocution while trimming trees, putting up storm shutters or otherwise getting ready for the hurricane.
Dorian was a category two storm by the time it hit North Carolina, where it also left hundreds of people in shelters and tens of thousands without electricity.
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