Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis lauded the United States for “assisting us with all of our needs” in the wake of Hurricane Dorian’s widespread destruction to the island nation.
Appearing Thursday on CNN’s AC360, Minnis said U.S. aid likely reduced the number of deaths in the Bahamas, which stands at least 30 people as of Friday.
“From day one, the United States was in our territory assisting us with all of our needs. Had it not been for the United States we would not have been advanced this far in the entire process,” Minnis told host Anderson Cooper.
“Even though our death numbers, we expect they [will] increase, had the United States not come in quickly… our death numbers would be even more,” the Bahamas leader added.
"Even though our death numbers, we expect they [will] increase, had the United States not come in quickly… our death numbers would be even more."
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) September 6, 2019
Further, Minnis said he spoke with President Donald Trump, who “expressed condolence to the entire Bahamian populace and that the United States would be available and would be there to assist us.”
Hundreds of people gathered at the port in Grand Abaco Friday hoping to escape a Bahamian island devastated by Hurricane Dorian, some carrying bits of scavenged possessions in duffel bags piled in shopping carts.
International aid efforts gained momentum even as emergency crews were still hunting for survivors and the missing five days after Dorian blasted the Bahamas with 185 mph winds.
A British navy ship moored offshore was sending in aid on a landing craft, including blankets and 500 boxes of ration packs that feed a family of four. In addition, two private yachts had also brought in aid, including pallets of water bottles.
A weakened Dorian flooded homes on North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Friday with a ferocity that seemed to take storm-hardened residents by surprise, and hundreds were feared trapped by high water.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.