Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hubert Minnis, has confirmed that there have been five fatalities on Abaco Island, resulting from the passage of Hurricane Dorian.
At a press conference on Monday, Minnis said that the Royal Bahamas Police Force has confirmed that there have been five fatalities on Abaco Island. He added that teams will go to that island as quickly as possible for a full assessment on the state of affairs there.
On Sunday the Bahamas prime minister said that it was the “worst day of my life” as he referred to Hurricane Dorian as a storm that Bahamians had never seen in the country’s history.
During his Monday press conference Minnis said that clean up will occur as soon as the Meteorological Department gives the “all clear” and he urged the residents of Grand Bahama to stay in doors and be as safe as possible until the all clear is given.
He stressed that his administration will be careful in giving relevant information with respect to disaster recovery in the aftermath of the hurricane. He stressed that citizens and residents must only adhere to information from official channels, which have been verified by the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Reiterating that official information concerning Hurricane Dorian indicated that the devastation is unprecedented and extensive Prime Minister Minnis said: “The images that we are seeing are heart breaking. New homes, business and other buildings have been completely or partially destroyed. There is an extra ordinary amount of flooding and damage to infrastructure.”
He said that the US Coast Guard has rescued a number of injured people on Abaco Island. He also disclosed that critically injured people have been taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital on New Providence Island.
He pointed out that New Providence Island. Andros and Eleuthera have been given the all clear. He, however, pointed out that there has been a number of floodings on those islands and he strongly urged the residents of those islands to be careful and diligent in how they go about their business. He added that shelters are open in New Providence for those whose homes have been affected.
Minnis pointed to a number of fake and incorrect reports that are being circulated and he asked people to refrain from circulating such information since they can be very damaging. According to him, this is not the time to be creating mischief and playing with the emotions of others especially those, who are most vulnerable.
He said: “Rapid assessment teams are on standby to conduct initial assessment and reconnaissance in affected areas as quickly as possible. There are teams from the ministries of Health, National Security, Social Services and others. There are teams from NEMO and the Bahamas Red Cross. There are also international and regional governmental and NGO teams ready to help and assess the human needs and damages.”
Stressing that measures are being put in place to respond as rapidly as possible to reduce suffering,the Bahamas prime minister said that a Hurricane Relief and Recovery Committee is being established and a coordinator will be announced as soon as possible.
He said the administration is facilitating donations and the purchase of relief supplies by registered charitable organizations, which will be allowed to freely enter the affected areas in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. He added that “landing fees will also be waived in the affected areas ….”
He urged Bahamain citizens and residents to unite with oneness of focus in helping people in the affected areas in this time of stress. He said the administration “will provide information as to where and how individuals, families and corporate citizens can donate resources and funds to assist those in need”.
He also called on Bahamians and residents of islands “not affected by this monster storm to open their homes to friends and relatives and others in need”.