Death toll in Bahamas will be ‘staggering’

| 08/09/2019 | 39 Comments
Cayman News Service
Destruction in the Bahamas

(CNS): The number of people confirmed dead in the Bahamas as a result of Hurricane Dorian has risen to 43, but the Bahamas Government has said the final death toll will be “staggering”. Health Minister Duane Sands told local radio last week, “The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering.”

Thirty-five of the official deaths were in the Abaco Islands and eight in Grand Bahama. But officials say that morticians and 200 body bags have been sent to Abaco. In Marsh Harbor, an estimated 90% of the infrastructure appears damaged, according to the World Food Programme, which delivered 14,700 ready-to-eat meals to Nassau on Friday to send to where they were needed.

The WFP added, “The government building, the medical centre and the Anglican church are housing thousands of displaced people – including women, young children and other vulnerable groups. Living conditions are rapidly deteriorating with limited or no water, electricity, and sanitation. With improved access (airport in Marsh Harbor newly reopened), some supplies are arriving including some minimal food and water. The needs remain enormous.”

An estimated 70,000 people have been made homeless by the category 5 hurricane, many of them trying to leave, lining up by the thousands in Freeport, Grand Bahama, hoping to get on one of the cruise ships evacuating people to Florida.

For people still in the devastated areas, reports indicate that provisions are running low as conditions worsen, and survivors also talk about the rising stench of decaying bodies. International aid agencies and charities are on the ground and bringing in basic supplies, as are several cruise lines, but the situation remains critical.

As search and rescue efforts continue, the Bahamas government is being assisted by the US Coast Guard, the Royal Navy and the Cayman Islands police helicopter. In addition, 100 Defence Force soldiers have been sent from Trinidad and Tobago to help relief efforts.

To add to the overwhelming catastrophe, there are significant oil spills on Grand Bahama, which the oil company, Equinor, has pledged to clean up.

“Equinor has secured vessels and equipment for oil spill response in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, and from various ports across southeast Florida. Some are now en-route, while some are pending customs to be en-route as soon as possible. Upon arrival, clean-up and remediation will start immediately,” the company said in a statement.

Read why the Red Cross is collecting money: CIRC Hurricane Dorian Bahamas Appeal

Or contact or visit the CIRC website

CI Red Cross Hurricane Dorian Bahamas Appeal
Butterfield Bank Account #1360350540060

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Category: Caribbean, Commonwealth, World News

Comments (39)

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  1. Anon says:

    @12:23 p.m.

    SMH .. Look! It seems you don’t know anything about hurricanes. You gotta to understand, a TSUNAMI came with that hurricane! Wind gust of over 200 mph! And in this hurricane was tornados. Yes, Abaco Bahamians witnessed the tornados during the storm! No matter how perfectly you followed a building code. No matter how much straps you put on your roof, your house would have not been able to stand up to this Cat 5! I don’t care if your house was concrete. You have to remember the eye went over them, and the hurricane was stationary over them for almost 2 days. No one can tell me Ivan was worser than Dorian. When Ivan hit us, it was a Cat 4, HELLO! The eye didn’t pass over us. It was about 20 miles to our south. You can’t even compare what Ivan did us to what Dorian did Abaco.

    And you should never say it is poor construction why 20,000 home were demolished! !! 😡 That just sounds ignorant!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Atheists have a right to their belief.

    Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and so on have rights to their beliefs.

    No need to bash each other.

    Live and let live…. in the name of whom/what/which -ever sake…..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was in the Bahamas just after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. One of my lasting memories of that is properties completely destroyed, only the foundations remained, but their satellite dishes were still sitting there untouched. Building standards were non-existent.

    Sadly, it doesn’t look like any lessons were learned from that.

    Going back to an earlier CNS story, I also saw how effective the mangrove barriers were in reducing storm surge damage – you remove them at your peril!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Events like this one present great opportunity for the counties in the hurricane’s belt to re-evaluate its preparedness for the worst case scenario.

    Are there Cat 5 shelters in place?
    Are there a plan (regularly practiced) to evacuate elderly and disabled to the shelter?
    Is there a list of all people who would need an assistance and each person knows exactly who will be coming to assist, have their phones?
    Is there an adequate supply of food and water to sustain all people in need for at least a week?
    Would RCIPS know exactly what to do right away?

    Since many say it is easier to re-build, than build as they do it in Bermuda, is there a plan where exactly the debris and destroyed houses would be taken? The Dump is full as it is.

    In the worst case scenario, when prepared, it should not be like it is in Bahamas (however everything is possible). There is no chaos, looting or starvation in Japan when disasters strike. Can we learn how they do that?

    What exactly GIC has done and is doing ?

    • Anonymous says:

      They just spend a whole day in the LA bashing gays during ‘Gaypril’ because they’re the main reason why the sky fairy wants to demolish us with hurricanes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The world has the resources to help. Why does everything have to be about money?
    Thousands are dead in the Bahamas and we will get the sanitized news. Thousands.

  6. CayaStar says:

    Natural disasters reminds me how impermanent human life is, and the REAL thing that matters is your health, peace of mind, selfless love, and your soul.

    Never let the routine of making money, getting material things, and everyday life, make you forget there is a God, a reason for living, a right way and a wrong way, and the things that are unseen outweigh those things that are.

    And in a way, disasters like this one, brings out the best in us too. God knows what he’s doing. We are now seeing people’s true colors. I’ve learnt how a Bahamian airline flew people out from Abaco charging them 75 dollars, and they needed their passports too to go on the flight. Oh yes … in disasters we are seeing how the money system works for the people. And we are hearing more stories …

    God is wise indeed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where was your god when the church collapsed on all of those people using it as a hurricane shelter in Abaco? Sleeping on the job or non-existent?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ask Him when you see Him.

        • Anonymous says:

          All those miracles then bam, nothing when video cameras got invented.

          I begged and pleaded for a sign to keep my faith. A simple indication that an almighty being knows my every thoughts. Maybe make me hear “his” voice or something. But nothing after praying for years.

          I will drop to my knees and worship with you if I see a true sign. Praying for rain then getting rain the next day is not an act of a god, it’s just coincidence.

      • CayaStar says:

        I will answer you. God was there when the church collasped. ..

        But before you start beiieving you know more than God, consider this – do you seriously believe God values our temporal bodies more than our souls? How I see it, the only thing you will take with you is your soul, your character.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because if God actually existed, he would blow away hurricanes….. And if you fell out of a tree, he would turn the ground into pillows…..

        Glad to see SOMEONE here at least, knows how to run the universe.

        • Anonymous says:

          Who says God is all-good and hasn’t created evil as well? Who says he is not using the evil to bring forth the good?

          You can’t have any good without evil. They need each other. So people like you can disbelieve God thinking he should be all-good all the time to suit your egos.

          I know God is all-wise and all-knowing too. Who can say they “know” God? Not you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh please. Stop for a second with this rubbish and realize that if their is a god, they don’t care about us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well whatever intelligence He gave you, you haven’t bothered to use it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Or maybe I have and I’ve used the proof of science over stories. Me thinks that makes me smarter than you. Nanny nanny boo boo.

      • Sandy says:

        You sound like an atheist. My question for you then, What if God does care, but he is testing us. And like a teacher during an exam, he is very silent ????

        Then … that explains God’s silence. Perhaps, you will find out after death. As for me, I believe God exist because I believe in truth, justice, fairness, and most importantly sacrificial love 🙂

        • Anonymous says:

          Do you know what? I think I’ll take my chances. I definitely am an atheist by the way. Proud of it too. I just feel bad that you’ll never know that god doesn’t exist when you die. All we are is fertilizer for this earth after death… an earth that we do know exists. So start doing something to save it instead of praying for it.

          • Anonymous says:

            I do both. I pray and give thanks. Then I get up from knees and work. I take every day as a new chapter given to me by my Creator. Unlike you I have HOPE beyond the grave, and even that psychologically empowers me. Believing in God works good for me. 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is there any group which is organising accommodation here for some of the people who have lost their home? I have a spare room. I am grateful for the people who put me up outside of Cayman for a month after Ivan.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My Facebook timeline has been flooded with people announcing that they’re sending thoughts and prayers while I’ve only seen two posts about giving to red cross or that coffee charity promotion.

    Tell me exactly what have the kind thoughts accomplished?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a cop out to make themselves feel better while doing absolutely nothing. Thoughts and prayers never accomplished anything but make useless selfish people feel better about themselves. I gave $300 worth of canned goods Saturday to the Bahamas cause. I challenge others to do better.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Bahama press , on you tube , get the truth out

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember one of our stable geniuses wanting to put an oil refinery in Cayman….

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the link

    • Anonymous says:

      Wonder why these weren’t built to withstand cat 5 destruction???? This is shocking. Especially as one of our edumacated Premier’s encouraged us to get a refinery!

      • Anonymous says:

        Almost nothing is built to withstand a Cat 5.
        Unfortunately extreme natural disasters (like a Cat 5 for over a day) are beyond what society is normally willing to pay for when building homes OR infrastructure.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Many of the huge oil tanks in grand bahama have been damaged and oil is everywhere , no clean up is taking place, aid agencies are not doing delivering even the basics such as water this is like Katrina in New Orleans, no government organization , something is amiss , watch press tv on YouTube there is a serious humanitarian crisis unfolding, don’t sent money to Red Cross there banks accounts are full and there not helping, p,ease spread the word bahamians need real help

    • Anonymous says:

      Tragic – and yet more confirmation of what we experienced in Cayman. Governments and relief agencies are useless in the immediate aftermath. The private sector and generous individuals are much better at getting critical supplied (bottled water) to where it is needed.

      It is NOT needed is some centralized warehouse awaiting roads to be fixed before it can be sent to people!

  11. Anonymous says:

    CNS, can you highlight the fantastic work being undertaken by our Air Operations Unit. They are flying around the clock and really have been gratefully well received as a vital resource. They are up there with the best in the world m, never shirk a challenge and be great for that to be recognized.

    It would be impossible to find that out without going through the RCIPS media relations department and I feel confident that they will send out regular press releases updating us on the work of the helicopter crews. I have no doubt that the work the crews are doing is physically hard and very distressing, or that it is life-saving.

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