"The infrastructure is totally underwater," Joy Jibrilu, the director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, said. "The toll in terms of damage is going to be unprecedented."
Meantime millions along the southeastern coast of the United States are bracing for Dorian.
Meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center warned in a 5 a.m. ET Tuesday update that despite being downgraded, Dorian was expected to remain a perilously powerful hurricane for the next few days, with "devastating" winds and a "life-threatening" storm surge.
Authorities fear the death toll could climb as high as 34.
Thirty-four of the 39 aboard the boat were sleeping below deck when the fire broke out.
"To be in a remote location, have a fire that occurs, have limited if any firefighting capability that could address ... you couldn't ask for a worse situation," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said on Monday.
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Bob Hansen, the owner of "The Grape Escape," the boat five crew members of the burning vessel sought refuge on, described the scene to NBC News. “It's a 75-footer and the flame was from one end of the boat to the other. There wasn't a blank spot on it and probably 30-foot flames,” he said. “I mean, it was just totally on fire.”
In a recent monologue, television host Stephen Colbert mocked heterosexual men after a new study found some of them avoid environmentally friendly activities, like recycling, to avoid being perceived as gay.
“Really, men? Is there no limit to straight male fragility?” he asked mockingly. “This isn’t just toxic masculinity, this is literally toxic.”