But a handful of Instagram users, while trying to offer their condolences on social media, were slammed for their hollow words.
Scattered among the posts with hashtags #prayforbahamas and #bahamas – where thousands featured genuine messages of support – were images of scantily-clad women and men.
One lengthy post began with the words: “My heart aches as I sit here and hear the news and see the video of Hurricane Dorian”.
Yet in the comment section, the user had tagged the swimwear brand of the bikini she was wearing in the photo.
Another prominent Instagram influencer with over 500,000 followers shared a photo of herself posing in shallow waters in the Bahamas while offering her support for the nation.
People were quick to point out the image wasn’t appropriate for her chosen words.
“This is a very odd photo to choose to show your concern for the Bahamas,” one person wrote.
“It honestly seems more like you’re using the hashtag for a tragedy as self promotion.”
One man shared a photo of himself and captioned the image: “Thinking about the country I love.”
Further down in his caption he included dozens of fitness related hashtags including #gymlife, #fitness and #motivation.
Hidden among them was #bahamas.
Another scantily-clad woman posted a photo of her wearing a red bikini with the caption: “Praying for the safety of this beautiful country #Bahamas.”
One slammed the picture, writing on Instagram: “Imagine using a disaster like Dorian to flaunt your a** on Instagram.”
“Here’s a picture of my a** to prove how much I’m praying for the safety of this beautiful country,” another said.
“Respectful as f***,” one commented.
Another horrified user said: “This is disgusting, delete this”.
Hurricane Dorian has unleashed massive flooding across the Bahamas on Monday, pummelling the islands with so much wind and water that authorities urged people to find floatation devices and grab hammers to break out of their attics if necessary.
At least five deaths have been blamed on the storm.
"We are in the midst of a historic tragedy," Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said in announcing the fatalities.
He called the devastation "unprecedented and extensive”.
The fearsome Category 4 storm, which has now been downgraded to a Category 3, slowed almost to a standstill as it shredded roofs, hurled cars and forced even rescue crews to take shelter until the onslaught passed.
Officials said they received a "tremendous" number of calls from people in flooded homes.
A radio station received more than 2000 distress messages, including reports of a five-month-old baby stranded on a roof and a grandmother with six grandchildren who cut a hole in a roof to escape rising floodwaters.
Other reports involved a group of eight children and five adults stranded on a highway and two storm shelters that flooded.
The deaths in the Bahamas came after a previous storm-related fatality in Puerto Rico.
At least 21 people were hurt in the Bahamas and evacuated by helicopters, the prime minster said.
Police Chief Samuel Butler urged people to remain calm and share their GPS coordinates, but he said rescue crews had to wait until weather conditions improved.
"We simply cannot get to you," he told Bahamas radio station ZNS.
By Tuesday afternoon Dorian had weakened to a Category 3 hurricane but continues to batter the Bahamas as it remains almost at a standstill.
– With AAP
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