Official: ‘Thousands’ Still Missing After Hurricane Dorian Hits Bahamas

GREAT ABACO, BAHAMAS - SEPTEMBER 5: Two women look for lost items after Hurricane Dorian passed through in The Mudd area of Marsh Harbour on September 5, 2019 in Great Abaco Island, Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian hit the island chain as a category 5 storm battering them for two days before …
Jose Jimenez/Getty Images

The official death toll is 30 so far in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian hit the country as a devastating Category 5 storm on Sunday with winds hitting 185 miles per hour, but an official there said “thousands” of people are missing.

“Literally hundreds, up to thousands, of people are still missing,” Joy Jibrilu, director general of the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, told CNN.

“Body bags, additional morticians and refrigerated coolers to store bodies were being delivered to Abaco and other affected areas, Health Minister Duane Sands told Guardian Radio 96.9 FM,” the New York Post reported.

“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” Duane Sands, health minister of the Bahamas, told a radio station in the Bahamas, according to a Vox report.

Vox reported on the international effort to help victims on the islands:

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimates 13,000 homes may have been severely damaged or destroyed across the Bahamas (about half of all homes). The US Coast Guard is responding and the British Royal Navy are responding to the disaster, and relief agencies like the Red Cross are jumping in to help. CNN reports that the main airport in Freeport, has been all but destroyed, which may make bringing aid to island difficult in the coming days.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports “flooding in Abaco is believed to have contaminated wells with saltwater.” Both Grand Bahama and the Abacos may need around 60,000 gallons of water delivered each day. In all, more than 60,000 people may need food and water assistance.

On Friday, North Carolina was the focus of the storm, which has been downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, according to AccuWeather:

By early Friday morning, Dorian was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. Mid-morning on Friday, the National Hurricane center declared that Dorian made its first official landfall in the United States on Cape Hatteras.

But the storm is still “life-threatening,” the National Hurricane Center warns:

Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds will continue along portions of the North Carolina coast, portions of southeast Virginia and the Southern Chesapeake Bay for the next several hours.

Officials say four people have died in Dorian related incidents in the United States.

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