Residents Turn To Social Media To Find Loved Ones

Damage from Hurricane Dorian in Abaco. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff

Damage from Hurricane Dorian in Abaco. Photo: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff


Tribune Staff Reporter


FRIENDS and family members took to social media in a desperate attempt to locate scores of loved ones from Abaco who were displaced in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

Ever since the monster storm battered the northeastern island with its 180 mph winds, hundreds of people have flocked to Facebook to ascertain the whereabouts of their embattled friends and family.

Some haven’t heard from their loved ones from in over 24 hours, and in some instances, have received word that whatever shelter they were in sustained serious structural damages.

An unofficial list, posted by Facebook page Beauty By Bekuh around 11pm on Sunday, contains the names of at least 342 people, inclusive of men, women, children and the elderly, who loved ones have not been able to contact.

One of those was a boy who was separated from his mother overnight near the Marsh Harbour Port.

Another is Allister Delon Cargill, a young man who was sent to Abaco on assignment by Cable Bahamas but somehow got separated from his team. According to Mr Cargill’s aunt Vardlee Cargill, no one had heard from him in the past 24 hours. He was last known to have been in Murphy Town.

Facebook user Mitesha T Nottage posted in Facebook group HeadKnowles that McKethan Nottage, who lived in the Regatta Condo in Marsh Harbour, was last heard from around 10am on Sunday. Anyone who has seen him is encouraged to contact Tessa Nottage at 376-7724.

Robyn Darville, meanwhile, is still trying to get in contact with her father, Robert Darville, whose last known address was in Dundas Town. Ms Darville said the last thing she heard from her father after 11pm on Sunday was that a “big hole” had opened up in his roof and that the “ceiling was caving in”.

Another post, made almost a day ago, said Donna Johnson’s family were desperate to hear word about her and her family’s safety. The last time Mrs Johnson’s family spoke to her, the woman said her roof had blown off. Mrs Johnson, her husband Jeff and their daughter live in Murphy Town.

Another user, Victorious Toyah Higgs, posted in Facebook group 242 In The Know that her best friend, Demetri Munroe, a former officer and now medic/nurse in one of the Abaco cays, was not heard from since Sunday morning.

Ricardo Brice is also trying to get in touch with his niece Pazzia Newbold, who was in Dundas Town when Hurricane Dorian made landfall.

As the individual posts continue to pour in, a Facebook group, “Abaco Search | Hurricane Dorian”, has been made for the sole purpose of locating family and friends feared missing on that island.

The group, created on Sunday by Vanessa Pritchard Ansell, already has over 5,000 members.

The group’s posts are organised by the island’s settlements, namely Cooper’s Town; Green Turtle Cay; Treasure Cay; Great Guana Cay; Man-O-War Cay; Marsh Harbour; Elbow Cay; Lubbers Quarters; Tilloo Cay; Little Harbour/Cherokee Sound; Crossing Rocks; Sandy Point; Dundas Town; Bahama Palm Shores; Munjack Cay; and Murphy Town.

Marsh Harbour, in particular, had racked up 1.3K comments up to press time.

A search box is available in the group that allows users to search their loved one’s name to see if they have been located prior to posting an alert.

Switching gears to Grand Bahama, Dahlia Francis posted on Monday that her best friend’s sister, Dedra Williams—who is six months pregnant, and her boyfriend, Ryan Tucker, haven’t been heard from in hours since the roof of their building came off.

Their last known whereabouts was 1001 Harbour House in the Lucaya area.

Another post from shortly around 7am on Monday requested immediate help for persons in distress at Windermere Drive in Freeport. According to that post, seven adults were at that location—one injured, along with an unspecified number of dogs.

“They’re trapped in the manhole and the water levels keep rising!” the post said.

At 12.30pm on Monday, the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) said mobile services were available in Cherokee Sound; Bahama Palm; Schooner Bay; Sands Cove; and Sandy Point, Abaco. Fixed line and mobile services are “compromised” throughout the rest of the island, BTC said.

As for Grand Bahama, BTC said mobile services are available in Grand Lucaya; West End; Taino Beach; Maurice Moore; Our Lucaya; and Queen’s Highway. Fixed line services are compromised island-wide, BTC said.


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