Thousands of people fled devastation in the Bahamas on Saturday as conditions grew increasingly desperate nearly a week after Hurricane Dorian made landfall, reducing many homes to rubble and knocking out water and power.
Aid groups rushed emergency help to the storm-ravaged islands, and officials warned a death toll of 43 was likely to spike higher as the number of missing among the archipelago nation’s 400,000 residents becomes clear.
Even as the aid ships and aircraft headed in, residents abandoned hard-hit Great Abaco Island to seek safety and food in the capital, Nassau, and others headed to Florida for shelter, supplies and perhaps jobs.
Some 90 percent of the homes, buildings and infrastructure in Marsh Harbour of Great Abaco, where Dorian rampaged for almost two full days as one of the strongest Caribbean hurricanes on record, were damaged, the World Food Programme said.
REUTERS: Hurricane Dorian has reduced whole towns in the Bahamas into unrecognizable piles of debris. As survivors try to get out, they share their harrowing stories. Jonah Green reports.
U.S. Coast Guard: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ivan Castro, member of the medical team working on relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian provides his experience during the event Sept. 4, 2019. The Coast Guard is supporting the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency and the Royal Bahamian Defense Force, who are leading search and rescue efforts in the Bahamas (U.S. Coast Guard video by Seaman Erik Villa Rodriguez)
Our News Bahamas: Reporter Kyle Walkine in East Bahamas
Our News Bahamas: Minister of Health, Dr Duane Sands tours the Rand Memorial Hospital assessing the damage.