Category 5 means sustained winds of more than 156 miles and hour and the possibility of “catastrophic” damage.
The eye of the Category 5 hurricane is about to hit the island of Great Abaco in the northern Bahamas.
Life-threatening storm surges, devastating hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains capable of producing life-threatening flash floods are expected until Monday.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas has urged residents to evacuate areas most at risk, saying that “homes, houses, structures can be replaced”. He added: “Lives cannot be replaced.”