“This is probably the most sad and worst day of my life to address the Bahamian people,” Minnis said. “As a physician, I’ve been trained to withstand many things, but never anything like this.”

Video posted to Twitter by local newspaper The Tribune, though not independently verified by NBC News, appeared to show widespread destruction on Abaco.

Leigh Lamattina-Davis, a resident of Marsh Harbour, a town of roughly 6,000 on Great Abaco, described the direct hit as “total devastation.”

“I am lucky to have half a house,” she said in a text message with NBC News. “My neighbors are demolished.”