NASSAU, Sept 9 (NNN-AGENCIES) — One week after Hurricane Dorian
devastated the Bahamas, residents struggled amid the ruins Sunday, with many forced to seek refuge far from their shattered homes as the death toll from the top-intensity storm hit 44 in the islands.
Dorian, now classified as a post-tropical storm, caused “severe damage” in
eastern Canada and was expected to move soon into the North Atlantic after
cutting a destructive swath through the Bahamas and going up the US east
In the Bahamas, people were still scrambling for shelter, with the lucky
evacuees beginning to reunite with loved ones but the fate of uncounted
others still in doubt.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis warned the death toll — which Health
Minister Duane Sands put at 44, according to local media — was likely to
A loosely coordinated armada of passenger planes, helicopters and both
private and government boats and ships — including redirected cruise liners — converged in the Bahamas on the horribly battered Abacos to help with evacuations, both to Nassau and to the US mainland.
Tropic Ocean Airways said it planned to fly supplies to hard-hit Marsh
Harbour from Florida and bring out some 220 people to Nassau on a Delta Air Lines jet.
On Saturday, a cruise ship carrying 1,400 people docked in Riviera Beach,
Florida, CNN reported. All had documents to enter the United States.
The Coast Guard said all Bahamian ports had now reopened. As of Sunday
morning, it had five cutters providing support and five helicopters taking
part in search and rescue operations. It said 308 people had been rescued.
Many of those still waiting to leave Marsh Harbour were Haitian workers.
The area where they lived — The Mudd — was almost completely wiped out by Dorian.
Haitians who have arrived in Nassau have accused the government of
prioritizing native-born Bahamians for evacuation from Marsh Harbour over Haitian nationals.
Dorval Darlier, a Haitian diplomat who flew from Nassau to Marsh Harbour
on Sunday, defended the Bahamian government against the allegations.
“Haitians have been treated well,” he said. “Some get mad (that) they have
been here since yesterday. But the government has first to find a shelter for
Thousands of miles north in Canada, Dorian caused “severe damage” in the
Maritimes, a three-province region in eastern Canada comprising Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said.
On Sunday night, Dorian was leaving the northern tip of Newfoundland and
“will gradually weaken as it moves towards Europe,” it said, adding that no
serious injuries or fatalities have been reported.
More than 500,000 power outages were reported across the Maritimes,
according to the Canadian Hurricane Centre.
Bahamas residents said conditions on the devastated islands were brutal,
and that the smell of unrecovered bodies, along with mounting piles of
garbage, was oppressive and unsanitary.
Hundreds or even thousands of people were still missing, officials said,
as search-and-rescue teams continued their grim retrievals.
Minnis said Nassau “cannot possibly accommodate” all the Abaco victims.
The prime minister called the loss of life “catastrophic and devastating,”
and Health Minister Duane Sands said the final death toll “will be
The UN’s World Food Programme was sending food and supplies. A WFP team estimated that 90 percent of buildings in Marsh Harbour were damaged.
The Pan American Health Organization warned of the risk of water-borne and communicable diseases, but said no cholera cases had been detected, nor had there been any increase in communicable diseases.
The US Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and private organizations have
been helping evacuate island residents to Nassau, hampered by damaged piers and airport runways. — NNN-AGENCIES