Irene batters the Bahamas with 120 mile winds

| 24/08/2011

(AP): A large and powerful Hurricane Irene was roaring its way Wednesday across the entire Bahamas archipelago, knocking down trees and tearing up roofs and posing the most severe threat to the smallest and least populated islands, officials said. Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said there have been no major injuries or deaths according to preliminary reports he has been receiving from throughout the widely scattered islands. But he added that they would not know the full extent of damage from the Category 3 storm until it is clear of the country on Friday.

Ingraham said the latest storm data seemed to indicate that lightly populated Cat Island was in particular danger because the storm was expected to pass over the entire length of the island. Forecasters said New Providence, the most populated island, would see tropical-storm-force winds for more than 12 hours.

This was only the third time since 1866 that a hurricane has gone across the entire length of the island chain, Ingraham said, and the country was bracing for extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. But the prime minister predicted few casualties overall.


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