Disney Cruise Crew Safe After Sheltering From Category 5 Hurricane Dorian on Castaway Cay Island in Bahamas

Disney has confirmed that several of their employees are safe after riding out the huge Category 5 Hurricane Dorian on an island in the Bahamas, following criticism from a family member of one of the staff.

The Disney Cruise Line workers are currently taking shelter on Castaway Cay, a private island owned by the company which is exclusively used as a port for its ships.

Castaway Cay is located near Great Abaco Island, just a few miles from where the eye of the powerful hurricane passed over the town of Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco with speeds of up to 180 miles per hour.

News of the Disney workers being left on the island spread after a sister of one of the workers vented her anger at the company on Twitter.

"My sister is stuck in the middle of a Cat 5 hurricane. We were told they would evacuate and they didn't. Left them behind!! Why??," Meg Green tweeted, via the Miami Herald.

"Remember that time [Disney Cruises] left 97 employees on a tiny island in a Category 5 hurricane? I do," she added. Green has since deleted her Twitter account.

In a statement, Disney Cruise Line confirmed that they were in contact with those on Castaway Cay and that they were being housed in the island's hurricane shelter.

"Many of our Guests have asked questions about Castaway Cay," a spokesperson told Newsweek. "Some of our Crew remained on the island and their care and safety is our highest priority.

"As forecasted, sustained winds on the island did not extend beyond tropical force strength and our Crew has returned to their living quarters after spending a few hours in our storm shelter yesterday.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the people in areas of The Bahamas that are being impacted by this storm and we stand ready to contribute to recovery efforts."

The company did not state how many of its workers are currently being sheltered on Castaway Cay.

Hurricane Dorian has already caused extensive damage after it hit the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.

In an update, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) described the situation at Grand Bahama as the eye of Dorian continues to power through as life-threatening.

"Residents on Grand Bahama Island should not leave their shelter when the eye passes over, as winds will rapidly increase on the other side of the eye," the NWC said in a statement. "Residents in the Abacos should continue to stay in their shelter until conditions subside later today [September 2]."

Sune Bulow, Head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Emergency Operation Centre in Geneva, said that Hurricane Dorian has had a "catastrophic impact" on the islands. "We anticipate extensive shelter needs, alongside the need for short-term economic support, as well as for clean water and health assistance," Bulow added.

Hundreds of thousands of people have also been evacuated from their homes as Dorian begins to approach the east coast of the U.S. and a state of emergency has been declared in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

"Dorian is moving toward the west near 1 mph. A slow westward to west-northwestward motion is forecast during the next day or so, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest and north," an NHC forecast said.

"On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island through much of today and tonight [September 2]. The hurricane will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast tonight through Wednesday evening."

Disney Cruise Line
In this handout photo provided by Disney, Disney Cruise Line's newest ship the "Disney Dream" sails under her own power in open water on November 13, 2010 on the edge of the North Sea in Eemshaven, The Netherlands. Several Disney Cruise Line employees are taking shelter from Hurricane Dorian on the company's private island in the Bahamas. David Roark/Disney