The United States Embassy in Nassau has urged people to get their information from trusted sources regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian after there were widely-circulated reports of a mob on Abaco shooting at a U.S. Coast Guard rescue helicopter.
“U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) continues search and rescue operations in the northern Bahamas, now with support from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well,” the embassy stated in a Facebook post.
“They have been welcomed by people in Abaco and Freeport who need help. There have been no reports of violence against USCG or CBP operations.
“As of 8:00 p.m. on September 3, they had successfully airlifted 61 people from the northern Bahamas to Nassau over two days, including three from Freeport.”
With extremely limited access to the communities ravaged by the storm, many people identifying themselves as storm victims have been forwarding voice notes telling of the horrors of Hurricane Dorian.
In one of those messages, a woman appeared frantic as she described the situation on the ground.
“It’s like doomsday,” the woman said.
“It’s a catastrophe here and as soon as we get help we’re going to get out of here. I understand that we have the [United States] Coast Guard that is here and they are sending the ship and they’re going to send people to evacuate us. That’s only word I heard. I hope that it’s true.”
She added, “The police only picking up bodies. So far, we went to go to a shelter and we done run into three bodies including my neighbor, he died. We ran into a husband and wife on the back of a truck.
“They’re dead. There’s a baby that’s dead. There’s bodies all over the place and it is true. It’s a sad case here.”
During a walkabout on Abaco yesterday, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames warned the public “to be careful of those social media reports”.
“We cannot take our resources and send them to areas to investigate things and the reporting is false,” Dames said.
“We have already found that out as a result of a number of reports.”
He added, “I caution members of the public: let’s be careful and responsible as we go about the business of protecting our brothers and sisters.”