Hurricane Joaquin surges in strength near Bahamas – US forecasters
MIAMI, USA – Joaquin surged in strength to become a Category Three hurricane on Wednesday, September 30, as it barreled toward the Bahamas, on a track that could take it to the US east coast, forecasters said.
The storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour, is located about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of San Salvador in the Bahamas, the Miami-based US National Hurricane Center said.
Major hurricanes are Category Three and above, with top sustained winds of 111-130 miles per hour and higher.
The force of these fierce winds can tear off roofs, fell trees and wooden-frame homes, while heavy rains can cause coastal flooding and burst river banks.
At 0300 GMT (Thursday, October 1), Joaquin was churning southwest at 6 miles (9 kilometers) per hour, the center added.
"The center of Joaquin is expected to move near or over portions of the central Bahamas tonight and Thursday, and be near or over portions of the northwestern Bahamas Thursday night or Friday," the NHC said, warning that "further strengthening is expected."
A hurricane warning, which puts people on notice to finish preparations and take cover, is in effect for central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador and the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence, authorities said.
The hurricane center also said Joaquin could turn north or northwest Thursday night and Friday, October 2, and move along the US East Coast. – Rappler.com