WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Bahamian officials warn people to prepare for the unthinkable as the number of dead bodies continues to rise with so many still missing.
- Supplies like body bags, additional morticians to embalm bodies and coolers to store the bodies are continuously being delivered to various affected areas.
- Yet, amidst the bleak situation, hundreds of survivors have also been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and other international rescues.
As the extent of the damage from Hurricane Dorian becomes more apparent, more and more body bags are being brought in by Bahamas officials as fatalities rose to 30 while hundreds remain missing.
“Literally hundreds, up to thousands, of people are still missing,” said Joy Jibrilu, of the country’s tourism and aviation ministry.
Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told Guardian Radio 96.9 FM that body bags, morticians and refrigerated coolers to store bodies are being brought to Abaco and other affected areas.
“The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” warns Sands, adding that numbers are expected to be far higher.
Despite the depressing update, there was good news amid the desperate search for survivors.
As of Thursday, about 201 residents were rescued by the US Coast Guard. Due to more attention directed on Bahamas’ northern islands, international rescues were able to dispatch planes and helicopters to reach the stranded and feed to displaced.
Capt. James Passarelli of the US Coast Guard said, “Our emergent priority is to get the critically wounded out and help the government of the Bahamas get the infrastructure back up so it’s safe, sanitary and livable — at least on a temporary basis — for those folks.”
Bahamian Minister of National Security Marvin Dames also said that a naval vessel from the UK has joined the efforts in distributing food and water as well as cleaning debris.
Although the storm concentrated on only a small part of the Bahamas, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said that it has still created “generational devastation”.
As officials rushed to respond to the damage, they also faced limited access to vital resources such as the massively damaged which is the only international airport on the Grand Bahama Island
Hurricane Dorian, the strongest ever to hit the Bahamas, battered and wiped out whole neighborhoods, lingering in the same area for several days.