Hurricane Sandy moved through the Bahamas early Friday after leaving 21 people dead across the Caribbean.
Sandy knocked out power, flooded roads and cut off islands in the Bahamas as it moved past Cat Island and Eleuthera, but authorities reported no deaths in the scattered archipelago.
"Generally people are realizing it is serious," said Caroline Turnquest, head of the Red Cross in the Bahamas, who said 20 shelters were opened on the main island of New Providence.
Sandy, which weakened to a category 1 hurricane Thursday night, caused havoc in Cuba early in the day, killing 11 people in eastern Santiago and Guantanamo provinces as its howling winds and rain toppled houses and ripped off roofs. Authorities said it was Cuba's deadliest storm since July 2005, when category 5 Hurricane Dennis killed 16 people and caused $2.4 billion in damage.
Sandy also killed one person while crossing Jamaica on Wednesday and 10 in Haiti, where heavy rains from the storm's outer bands caused flooding in the impoverished and deforested country.
Early Friday, the hurricane's center was about 145 miles (235 kilometers) east-southeast of Freeport, Bahamas. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph) and was moving north-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).
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