Jamaicans who have been evacuated from hurricane-ravaged islands in The Bahamas to New Providence, where the country’s capital is located, are now in wait-and-see mode.
The disclosure was made by Jamaica’s honorary consul to The Bahamas, Terrel A Butler, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer at her Shirley Street and Victoria Avenue office in Nassau last Thursday.
More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from the affected islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama since killer storm Dorian wreaked havoc two weeks ago, the National Emergency Management Agency has said.
Butler said at least 31 Jamaicans are among them. The group was evacuated by boat from Marsh Harbour, Abaco, and arrived at Potter’s Cay Dock in Nassau after the storm.
“Some want to stay here in hopes that things will be rebuilt and they might be able to go back, because some of them are permanent residents,” Butler, who took up the post in June, said. “Some have firm status in the country, in terms of being the spouses of Bahamians, and they have families here, so they have strong roots.
“Some had businesses as well, and so they’re waiting to see what is going to happen first before they move on,” Butler explained. “Some are capable of financing themselves while they wait.”
She said, too, that others have said they want to return to Jamaica but later changed their minds, adding that the Jamaican Government has made efforts to assist them.