Death toll from storm expected to rise further

The death toll from Hurricane Dorian will increase, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday after he revealed that a few children are among the dead.

“I caution Bahamians everywhere that the chances that we find more persons dead, those chances are real,” Dames told reporters outside Cabinet.

“It’s certainly a concern for us. This was a crisis of epic proportions. We want to be responsible; we want to be caring.

“As we report these things we’re taking into account the sensitivity around this… The reality of it all is, unfortunately, we will see more deaths. I can’t see any way out of it.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said five people were confirmed dead. Last night he said the death toll had climbed to seven.

Yesterday, when asked about those victims, Dames said, “Unfortunately, what we’re getting is a few of them are children.

“We’re at the beginning of this. This is a very unfortunate occurrence for us; maybe the worst that we’ve experienced, certainly in our lifetime.”

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands also confirmed that 21 critically injured individuals were flown from Abaco to New Providence for medical assistance.

“Some with very, very serious injuries,” Sands said.

“Some requiring emergency neurosurgery, brain surgery. We’ve had lacerations, partial amputations. We’ve had a number of broken bones. So, a number of people have been injured.

“The most critically ill patients have already been evacuated, and we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the people and the government of the United States of America. They have helped us immeasurably.”

He said the ages of the injured range from seven to 70.

Sands said the patients were being treated at Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital.

He said a number of other “urgent if not critical” individuals – such as dialysis patients – remained in Abaco.

“We expect that as people are able to navigate the road and to get in from more remote locations that we will discover other injured persons and, heaven forbid, other causalities,” Sands said.

He added, “We are going to be sending a relief medical team of doctors, nurses and other support staff today. Those medical professionals have toiled for hours, days on end and they now are exhausted.”

Dames said hundreds of Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) officers were already on the ground in impacted areas.

“The officers are up and about on the ground in Abaco,” he said.

“As we speak, we’re coordinating and sending additional officers in because we suspect or believe that it will get much more challenging as the days go on.”

Dorian tore through Abaco on Sunday as a powerful Category 5 storm before devastating Grand Bahama on Monday and yesterday.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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