The Bahamas is bearing the brunt of devastating Hurricane Dorian with winds of up to 180mph reported.

Ports and airports shut down as hurricane alerts were posted across the 700 island nation ahead of Dorian speeding towards Florida and the US east coast.

Evacuation orders have been implemented for parts of Grand Bahama and Abaco as Dorian reached category five in strength.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned that Dorian was “creating extremely dangerous storm surge, heavy rain and hurricane force winds in Abaco and Grand Bahama”.

Lynden Pindling international airport in Nassau has re-opened following an overnight closure due to the effects of Dorian.

The ports and airports in Grand Bahama and Abaco remain closed.

The FCO added: “You should continue to check with airlines and your local tour operator for any updates.

“You should follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local news and weather reports the US National Hurricane Center forecast.

“A hurricane alert is also in effect for New Providence, Eleuthera, North Andros, Bimini and the Berry Islands.”

States of emergency have been declared in Florida, the Carolinas and Georgia with Dorian expected to reached landfall from today (Monday).

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches are in place for the east coast of Florida.

“Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are possible along portions of the Florida east coast,” the FCO warned.

“You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Center website and follow instructions issued by the local authorities, including any evacuation orders.

“If you are due to be travelling to the affected areas in the next few days, you should contact your airline.”

Orlando international airport plans to maintain normal operations today after 96 flights were cancelled on Sunday.

A 24-hour watch is being kept on the hurricane “for any changes that may impact operations and airport readiness”.

Virgin Atlantic expects all flights to Orlando to continue as scheduled this week but passengers are advised to check the status of flights.

But Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airport will close at 12 noon local time until further notice due to “expected tropical storm wind conditions” after 36 flight cancellations and 44 delays yesterday.

Miami international airport (MIA) remains open while the progress of the hurricane is closely monitored.

“The Federal Aviation Administration only closes its control tower at MIA if sustained winds – not gusts – reach 55 miles per hour, at which point planes cannot take off or land,” the airport said.

British Airways said: “We are closely monitoring Hurricane Dorian, which is forecast to make landfall in Florida over the coming days.

“There could be some disruption to our services in this area, and we are currently working on our plans to minimise disruption for our customers.

“We are offering flexible rebooking options for customers wishing to change their dates of travel as a result of the hurricane.”

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