Bahamian PM says at least 30 dead following Hurricane Dorian

(Jamaica Observer) The final death toll from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas could be “staggering,” a government minister has said as the storm lashed North Carolina in the US today with torrential rain and fierce wind.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told CNN yesterday that at least 30 people were killed in the storm, which caused what he called “generational devastation”.
Extra morticians and refrigerated coolers to store bodies were being sent to the region to help authorities cope with the deadly impact, Health Minister Duane Sands told local media.
Of the final number killed, he declared: “Let me say that I believe the number will be staggering.”
An AFP team in the town of Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco yesterday saw scenes of catastrophic damage with homes reduced to matchsticks, overturned cars, fields of jumbled debris, widespread flooding and beached boats.
Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane — the highest on the five-level wind scale — when it slammed into the northern Bahamas on Sunday, leaving a trail of immense destruction.
Thousands have been left homeless, while the United Nations said 70,000 were in immediate need of aid.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Friday downgraded Dorian to a Category 1 storm as it whipped the Outer Banks — finger-like barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. It warned of life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds and said some areas have been hit with flash flooding.
It warned that although weakening, Dorian was still packing winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kilometres per hour), with some areas of the Carolina coast forecast to get between six and 12 inches of rain.
Authorities in Florida — which was largely spared by the storm — blamed six more deaths on the hurricane, US media reported, though they occurred as the victims were preparing for the storm’s arrival or were evacuation-related.