Hurricane Elsa – Terrifying moment sunbathers flee sandstorm on beach as 80mph winds batter Florida

THIS is the terrifying moment panicked sunbathers try to flee a sandstorm at a beach as Florida is being battered by strong 80mph winds.

The sandstorm was caused by the deadly storm Elsa that has now been classed as a hurricane after it regained power.

Read our Hurricane Elsa live blog for the very latest news and updates on the storm…

Sunbathers flee the beach

Sunbathers can be seen running as the hurricane approaches

Terrified sunbathers try to protect themselves from the sandstorm

EPAThe storm Elsa has now been classed as a hurricane[/caption]

Although it was downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday it has now been deemed as a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In the short clip terrified sunbathers can be seen running, trying to protect themselves from the sandstorm as the hurricane approaches.

The deadly storm has already claimed the lives of three people after battering Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

It is expected to move over parts of the Florida Keys and Florida’s Gulf Coast today.

Millions of people are bracing for a hurricane as torrential rain, flooding and even tornadoes could hit as hurricane Elsa approaches Florida.

Heavy rain and strong winds continue to spread inland across southwest and west Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Residents have been warned of power outages as high winds threaten to cause damage.

APResidents have been warned to stay indoors[/caption]

The Mega AgencyIt has caused damage in Barbados[/caption]

It has caused torrential rain in Florida

Flights from Tampa and Sarasota have been halted while schools and businesses in the state have also closed.

Meanwhile, a tornado watch for parts of Florida has been issued until 8am, National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay tweeted.

After making landfall in FloridaGeorgia and South Carolina are expected to be next in Elsa’s destructive path.

Elsa battered several Caribbean islands over the weekend, leaving one dead in St. Lucia, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.

A 15-year-old boy and a 75-year-old woman died on Saturday in the Dominican Republic after walls collapsed on them.

It comes as search and rescue teams try to find more victims in the collapsed Miami condo in Surfside with the death toll rising to 36.

Miami-Dade Fire Chief Alan Cominsky said teams are still “actively searching” but that it is now all-but a rescue mission to retrieve bodies from the building’s remains.

“We’re definitely searching. Unfortunately, we’re not seeing anything positive that continues in that sense,” Cominsky said on Tuesday morning.

“The key things we are looking for all throughout in regards to void space, livable spaces, we’re not coming across that,” he added.

“So, we’re actively searching as aggressively as we can to see if we can assist with the families and locate individuals.”