Bahamas braces for Hurricane Joaquin impact

Bahamas braces for Hurricane Joaquin impact

Hurricane Joaquin has strengthened into a Category 3 storm, warn forecasters, as it nears the Bahamas.

The US National Hurricane Centre confirmed the eye of the storm is expected to pass over eastern islands of the Bahamas overnight.

A hurricane warning is in effect for much of the country, with residents warned to expect winds of up to 115 mph.

The NHC warned Joaquin “could become a major hurricane” by Friday as it approaches the east of the United States. It picked up considerable strength on Wednesday, after being upgraded from a storm to a category 3 hurricane, on a scale of five, in only a few hours.

Geoffrey Greene, a senior forecaster with the Bahamas Meteorology Department, said he was “very concerned” about some of the smaller islands in the path of the storm.

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The populations of San Salvador, Rum Cay and Cat Island are thought to be at particular risk.