At least five deaths have been confirmed on Abaco following the passage of Hurricane Dorian, which brought catastrophic winds and destructive flooding to that island yesterday and continued to pound Grand Bahama today, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said today.
“There are questions about fatalities,” he said during a press conference at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“Thus far, the Royal Bahamas Police Force has confirmed that there are five deaths in Abaco.
“Teams will go to Abaco as soon as possible for a full and proper assessment and identification.”
It remains unclear how many people were injured. However, Minnis said
21 people were airlifted to New Providence and transported to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) today.
“The initial reports from Abaco is that the devastation is unprecedented and extensive,” the prime minister continued.
“They are deeply worrying. The images and videos we are seeing are heartbreaking. Many homes, businesses and other buildings have been completely or partially destroyed.
“There is an extraordinary amount of flooding and damage to infrastructure.”
He said once the all clear is given, the government will go into the affected islands and survey the damage.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy in parts of our northern Bahamas,” Minnis said. “Our mission and focus now is search, rescue and recovery. I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders.”
“Hurricane Dorian is still battering Grand Bahama and will be there for many, many more hours.
“We know that there are number of people in Grand Bahama who are in serious distress. We will provide relief and assistance as soon as possible after the Met dept has given the all clear.”
He called on Bahamians to unite.
Dorian is the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in the northern Bahamas. Yesterday, winds were estimated to be up to 185 mph. The hurricane’s intensity has since decreased.
Dorian remains an extremely dangerous category 4 storm. The storm continued to leave a path of destruction in its wake as it made its slow trek across Grand Bahama.
Earlier today it was moving at one mile per hour speed. However, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory, the hurricane had since become stationary, bringing life threatening conditions to the island.
“On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island into Tuesday morning,” the advisory said.