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Butler-Turner's hurricane relief flight hampered by lack of communications

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THERE is still no clarification on how relief efforts for those southern islands ravaged by Hurricane Joaquin would be carried out as communications systems are still down.

A team organised by Trans Island Airways executives and Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner were attempting on Saturday morning to mobilise supplies and support teams to as many of the affected islands as possible, but the uncertainty over the infrastructure has delayed those plans.

Organisers are attempting to fly an assessment team over "as many" of the affected islands to ascertain the most feasible approach to get needed supplies in to those islands.

Paul Aranha, owner of Trans Island Airways, told the Tribune that this morning's assessment flight will cover Long Island, Acklins and Crooked Island; and if weather permits, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

He said: "We have enough fuel to cover all of those islands and we intend to fly over as many as possible to determine which ones we can get planes and relief supplies into."

Long Island, Acklins and Crooked Island were among the hardest hit southern Bahamas islands by Hurricane Joaquin over the last three days. Residents in Long Island have described the storm as “the worst we’ve ever seen”.

There has been little to no communication with the other two islands, with the latest being reports of severe flooding and destructive winds.

Father Keith Cartwright, who with Mrs Butler-Turner is leading Saturday's assessment flight, declared from the runway in Nassau: "We are taking off now on our mission of mercy."

Three donation sites have been established across New Providence: Odyssey Aviation at Nassau International Airport, the Seahorse Institute on Soldier Road north of Prince Charles Drive; and The Kitchen Deli on Shirley Street.

Priority supplies are bottled water, non-perishable food items, hand sanitiser or wipes, batteries, flashlights and tools.

Persons wishing to aid relief efforts can contact Matt Albury at 477-3134. For more information visit https://www.youcaring.com/family-island-residents-affected-by-hurricane-joaquin-443828

Comments

Cobalt 8 years, 4 months ago

Why can't we hear from V Alfred Gray??? Doesn't he represent some of those southern islands hit by the hurricane???

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IAmOne 8 years, 4 months ago

Yep he does. This is a sad state for our country, to have a natural disaster and those responsible offer no leadership. Let's keep our brothers and sisters in the affected islands in our prayers

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SP 8 years, 4 months ago

.... Disaster relief cannot be effective with people running off in different directions .....

Any disaster remediation MUST begin with PROPER RECONNAISSANCE to determine extent of damage, remaining infrastructure for best possible access and assessment of possible medical emergencies.

If they really cared ABOUT THE PEOPLE on southern islands ravaged by Hurricane Joaquin, the best course of action would have been to offer whatever resources they could muster to the governments national response team for a coordinated approach that would translate into a concise multifaceted relief effort DESIGNED to impact the worst of the worst initially.

BLT and Paul Aranha's futile grand standing attempt at getting relief into Long Island was poorly planned and nothing more than an effort to show up the government which accomplished absolutely nothing except photo ops.

This is not the time for BLT to play politics. She proved herself inept, totally incompetent by "running off half cocked".

Did she really have to be eating something even in a photo op?..... REALLY?!!!

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truetruebahamian 8 years, 4 months ago

We are making a positive and successful difference. All there were loading, categorising and working out safe and effective methods of providing much needed relief. Flights left with relief supplies. The Aranhas and Butler-Turner were accomplishing something that was necessary and doing it quietly and successfully. What have you done other than make silly comments?

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