Dorian’s destruction: Bahamas faces a humanitarian crisis with 70,000 needing ‘life-saving assistance’ and at least 20 dead as the extent of damage wrought by the Category 5 hurricane is surveyed by locals who say ‘everything is gone’

Thursday, September 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

A massive international relief effort ramped up on Thursday in the Abaco islands and Grand Bahama
Dorian struck the Bahamas as a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday unleashed 185mph winds and torrential rains on the island over the following two days
An unknown number of people were trapped in their homes for days waiting for help to arrive
Half of the homes in the Bahamas were destroyed or severely damaged, racking up a total of $7billion in insured and uninsured property losses, according to a Thursday estimate
A UN humanitarian chief said around 70,000 people ‘are in immediate need of life-saving assistance’
The death toll climbed to 20 on Wednesday as search and rescue teams fanned out across the stricken islands
The number of fatalities is expected to continue its ascent as long stretches have yet to be explored
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis called Dorian ‘one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history’

5 September 2019

The Bahamas are facing a humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Dorian as up to 70,000 people are in need of ‘life-saving assistance’ and the death toll currently at 20 is expected to climb.

A massive international relief effort ramped up on Thursday as the extent of the damage wrought by Dorian comes into focus through satellite images and harrowing accounts from survivors.

The storm struck the island chain as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane on Sunday and stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama for the following two days as 185mph winds and torrential rains ravaged countless communities.

‘All the main buildings, gone. It’s gone. Everything is gone,’ Robert Cornea, who has lived in Abaco for more than 50 years with his wife Phyllis, told CBS News.

The couple have been homeless since Sunday.

‘Take a picture of me because it’s all I have left, what you see me in,’ Phyllis Cornea said from the wreckage of her home. ‘I’ve been in this four days.’

On Wednesday United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said around 70,000 people ‘are in immediate need of life-saving assistance’, adding that the most urgent needs are water, food, shelter and accommodation.

‘This is our Katrina moment,’ Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands said Thursday.

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