By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked international Bahamian students in Hurricane Florence's path to comply with all orders for mandatory evacuations.
Some students have already evacuated affected states, heeding warnings from local officials and concerns from relatives back home.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the ministry said it has been "closely monitoring" the projected path of Hurricane Florence, which up to press time yesterday had weakened to a Category 2 storm.
However, CNN has reported the cyclone is predicted to unload 10 trillion gallons of rainfall in North Carolina alone.
"I don't care if this goes down to a Category 1. We're still going to have a Category 4 storm surge," CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.
Ian Mayers is a Bahamian student in his senior year at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina.
Mr Mayers told The Tribune yesterday he was among the evacuees and was en route to Florida during the interview.
"I mean, I wasn't too worried, but my mother and (relatives) at home were worried for me," he said. "Because the news was saying how it could've gotten to the point where there would be no power and extreme rainfall and thunderstorms and winds.
"So (my mother) wouldn't have been able to know if I was good or not for those few days.
"And from the reports they did say our area would receive some serious damage," he added.
Mr Mayers said Belmont Abbey College did recommend that students leave the area. Those who did not have the opportunity to do so "were taken care of and safe", he added.
Belmont Abbey College closed yesterday and today because of the potential threat from the storm, according to its website.
In its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has been in contact with the Bahamas Consul General in Atlanta, Georgia, regarding student safety.
"Our students have been advised to follow all instructions and advisories issued by federal, state and local officials," the statement noted.
"Further, we have asked students to comply with orders for mandatory evacuation (where applicable). The ministry remains vigilant with regard to this natural activity and will endeavour to support our students."