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Hurricane Dorian Updates: Pm Says 20 Deaths Confirmed

A view of the destruction from Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour on Wednesday. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

A view of the destruction from Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour on Wednesday. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

LIVE COVERAGE OF THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE DORIAN CONTINUES HERE

• On Thursday morning we’ll bring you the latest news on Hurricane Dorian and its impact on Abaco and Grand Bahama.

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George Bolter, left, and his parents walk through the remains of his home destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in the Pine Bay neighbourhood of Freeport, Wednesday. (AP)

11.55pm UPDATE: From the Associated Press: With a now-distant Dorian pushing its way up the Southeastern U.S. coast, menacing Georgia and the Carolinas, many people living in the Bahamas were in shock as they slowly came out of shelters and checked on their homes.

In one community, George Bolter stood in the bright sunshine and surveyed the ruins of what was once his home. He picked at the debris, trying to find something, anything, salvageable. A couple of walls were the only thing left.

"I have lost everything," he said. "I have lost all my baby's clothes, my son's clothes. We have nowhere to stay, nowhere to live. Everything is gone."

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Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis speaks at tonight's press conference.

10pm UPDATE: From tonight's press conference with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis:

• The Prime Minister said there are 20 confirmed deaths after Hurricane Dorian.

• He had returned from an air assessment flight over Grand Bahama on a US Coast Guard helicopter.

• Much of Grand Bahama was previously underwater but is now cleared.

• There are homes, businesses and infrastructure which is badly damaged and there is a significant number of people in shelters.

• In eastern Grand Bahama and Sweetings Cay there is quite a bit of damage to homes but, significantly, homes on stilts were not damaged.

• Flooding has receded in Freeport, which has infrastructurally done well – most homes in Grand Bahama had minimal damage.

• In reference to stories of looting and disturbances, the Prime Minister said any looters will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

• Bahamians are advised to get their information from reputable sources.

• Dr Minnis spoke today with US President Donald Trump – who pledged assistance to the Bahamas and offered his condolences to the Prime Minister and his family over the death of his brother.

• Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered his sympathy and support.

7.40pm UPDATE: The World Central Kitchen team led by chef José Andrés is already delivering meals to people on Abaco. The team sent thousands of meals to Abaco today via helicopter, with more on the way, and were hoping to land and assess the situation in Freeport today. Mr Andrés posted pictures to Twitter of the team loading up a helicopter, saying "Getting food loaded up earlier... Helicopter just a start until we get our @WCKitchen kitchens cooking on Abaco and Grand Bahama! More soon! #ChefsForBahamas"

6.10pm UPDATE: Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands has confirmed that the death toll from Hurricane Dorian now stands at 20 – as for 6pm. There were 17 deaths in Abaco and three in Grand Bahama.

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The U.S. Coast Guard today brought in persons from affected islands to the Odyssey Aviation base in Nassau. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

5.15pm UPDATE: Some information from the Associated Press about those awaiting help in the Abacos: A group of Bahamians on hurricane-ravaged Great Abaco island are awaiting help, even as cars go past and helicopters fly overhead.

Among those hoping for relief assistance is 89-year-old Sylvia Cottis, who uses a wheelchair and has an infected gash on her right knee and a leg cut by bits of glass when a window shattered during Dorian's rampage. Her caregiver, Kathryn Cartwright, 58, says of her elderly charge: "I can't leave her here too long." So far, the only help they had received was from neighbors helping clear debris.

Others are in better condition. Kevie Thomas, who lives in the house beside Cottis, says she and some friends are drinking rainwater and eating small amounts of food to make supplies last. She says the hurricane was horrendous, but adds, "If you're alive, to me that's important. How can you be upset?"

4pm UPDATE: The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, His Excellency Huang Qinguo, on behalf of his country, presented Captain Stephen Russell, Director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with $20,000 in goods for the victims of Hurricane Dorian at NEMA’s Headquarters today. Captain Russell expressed thanks for the “timely contribution” and said that the goods will be taken by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to Grand Bahama and Abaco. The Ambassador also pledged that the Republic will be donating more goods in the future. The goods include food supplies as well as baby and hygiene products. (BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

3.25pm UPDATE: US President Donald Trump suggested he may visit The Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian - and promised aid. Following a briefing on the impact of Hurricane Dorian, Mr Trump was asked if he planned to visit The Bahamas. He said: "I guess you would call it a British protectorate, but I will do a lot. We're waiting for a call - they're having a lot of trouble with the telephones over there as you can imagine - from the Prime Minister and we're helping a lot. The Admiral just said we're sending a lot of resources over there to help people on a humanitarian basis. I would do that if we think it's appropriate, I would stop there, yes."

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Tweet from US Senator Marco Rubio

3.15pm UPDATE: US Senator Marco Rubio tweeted this afternoon: “Florida has deep ties to The Bahamas. Many Floridians have family living there. Today I will be asking the Trump Administration to consider suspending certain visa requirements for citizens of The Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian & with close relatives in the U.S.”

• And Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter: “I just spoke with Prime Minister Minnis about the devastation in the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian. Canada stands ready to help the Bahamian people and communities affected by this disaster and has pledged $500,000 in initial emergency assistance.”

2.35pm UPDATE: The Royal Bank of Canada has announced an immediate donation to help support recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas. “While we are still assessing the overall damage and impact of Hurricane Dorian, RBC is making an immediate donation of $75,000 USD to help kick-start local recovery and relief efforts on Abaco and Grand Bahama,” said LaSonya Missick, Managing Director and Head of Personal Banking for RBC in The Bahamas. “These funds will go towards the Bahamas Red Cross Society and Trans-Island Recovery. Further corporate support from the bank may follow as we get a better understanding of the scale and immediate local requirements.”

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Preparing to send supplies to Marsh Harbour

2.25pm UPDATE: Rotary Clubs of the Bahamas in partnership with the other civic organisations including Lend a Hand Bahamas has been delivering relief items directly to New Providence Community Church and the other drop off spots. The first set of boats with relief supplies left before first light. Two boats left for Marsh Harbour and a team on the ground there is helping to clear the Government Dock and awaiting their arrival this afternoon. There is now a dedicated drop off spot for Rotary donations. They can now be delivered to Caribbean Landscape Warehouse at the Airport Industrial Park. Drop offs are between the hours of 7:30am and 4:30pm.

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A rigid-hulled inflatable boat is deployed from RFA Mounts Bay this afternoon with aid on board.

2.15pm UPDATE: A Royal Navy vessel has delivered its first batch of aid to residents of Great Abaco.

The RFA Mounts Bay, a Landing Ship Dock, has provided more than 1,200 cases of water, 1,300 food ration packs and 500 shelter kits.

A rigid-hulled inflatable boat was deployed this afternoon with a relief team on board to join up with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to unload aid for those who have been worst hit by the category five storm.

The UK's Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said: "The highly skilled crew and specialist equipment of RFA Mounts Bay have been on call since June to support our overseas territories and friends in the hurricane season.

"Its Wildcat helicopter has begun conducting reconnaissance flights of The Bahamas to help assess the damage and the crew have begun distributing UK aid. My thoughts remain with those affected and our world-class military will continue to assist the Bahamas Government to offer relief and aid to those who need it most."

UK International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said: "The images of devastation and destruction across The Bahamas are truly shocking. The clock is now ticking to get help to those in need, and I'm pleased that Mounts Bay has begun to deliver life-saving relief items to those in desperate need."

The commanding officer of RFA Mounts Bay, Captain Rob Anders, said: "RFA Mounts Bay has been working alongside the Bahamian National Emergency and Management Agency and US Coastguard personnel, using our Wildcat helicopter to conduct initial assessments on Abaco Island and we have landed reconnaissance troops ashore.

"I am pleased to be able to use our people and equipment to send water and food ashore to provide aid to the Bahamian people."

1.30pm UPDATE: Photos showing the damage in West End, Grand Bahama today.

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Minister of National Security Marvin Dames

12.30pm UPDATE: It’s been confirmed that Cecil Bosfield, the brother of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, has died. The Free National Movement has released the following statement: “The Free National Movement, its Executive Officers, Women’s Association, Torchbearers, MCMs and Members extend our condolences to our Leader and Prime Minister The Most Hon Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, Cyril ‘Boxer’ Minnis, Alberta Hall and their family on the passing of their brother Cecil Bosfield.

“We are aware of the burden you are now carrying from the devastation by Hurricane Dorian and now the loss of your brother.

“Please note that our Father God has promised that he would not put more on you than you can handle.

“May his soul rest in peace.”

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The Royal Navy in action as part of the relief effort.

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First boats away to Marsh Harbour from the Royal Navy.

12.20pm UPDATE: From the Royal Navy on Twitter: The Royal Navy Wildcat has been conducting further reconnaissance flights over the Bahamas to assess damage and provide important intelligence to the Bahamian government and the team of Department for International Development experts who have deployed to the region. First boats are away to Marsh Harbour

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From the US Embassy in Nassau

11.10am UPDATE: From the US Embassy in Nassau – “As of 8:00 pm on September 3, US Coast Guard and US Customs and Border Protection have successfully airlifted 61 people from the Northern Bahamas to Nassau over two days, including three people from Freeport. People in Abaco and Freeport have welcomed them. Spread the word!

“Help relief efforts by only sharing information from trusted sources. Please share: US Coast Guard continues search + rescue in Northern Bahamas w/support from US Customs and Boder Protection. They have been welcomed by people who need help. There have been no reports of violence against USCG or CBP after Dorian.”

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Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands.

10.30am UPDATE: Health Minister Duane Sands said the government was airlifting 25 doctors, nurses and other health workers to Abaco and hoped to bring in mental health workers soon. "The situation is under control in Abaco," he said. "In Grand Bahama, today will tell the magnitude of the problem."

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Wading through flood waters

9.30am UPDATE: An urgent appeal from the RAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: “The following Post Hurricane Rostered Staff members are asked to report to the foyer of the Rand immediately. All doctors, nurses, A&E Clerks, Administrative Officers, Security, Housekeeping and contracted Housekeeping Services - Town & Country. All other staff on the Post Hurricane Roster are to remain on high alert for further messages.”

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A flight over Abaco Tuesday witnessed this scene of devastation.

FROM TODAY’S PRINT EDITION:

• PM cautions nation to expect more deaths

• Dramatic video shows family abandoning home

• Boy’s last words: ‘Grammy, I love you’

• 'Total devastation' in Abaco

9.15am UPDATE: Central Grand Bahama MP Iram Lewis said rescue crews are preparing to go into the island's eastern region for the first time since Hurricane Dorian hit.

He says he fears casualties in that area and said there are a lot of medical needs overall on the island. Lewis was driving and said he observed only one gas station open with a line of about half a mile forming.

He said the government was now pulling teams together to receive goods from abroad and was organizing distribution centres as teams began to launch search-and-rescue missions now that the weather has cleared.

At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

• Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses, or about 45% of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco, were believed to be severely damaged or destroyed. U.N. officials said more than 60,000 people on the hard-hit islands will need food, and the Red Cross said some 62,000 will need clean drinking water.

"What we are hearing lends credence to the fact that this has been a catastrophic storm and a catastrophic impact," Cochrane said.

Lawson Bates, a staffer for Arkansas-based MedicCorps, flew over Abaco and said: "It looks completely flattened. There's boats way inland that are flipped over. It's total devastation."

The Red Cross authorised $500,000 for the first wave of disaster relief, Cochrane said. U.N. humanitarian teams stood ready to go into the stricken areas to help assess damage and the country's needs, U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said. The U.S. government also sent a disaster response team.

Comments

TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

At this very moment reports of serious looting taking place in Marsh Harbour - where in hell are the Comrade members the Defense Forces and Constabulary, yes, no .... Most 'honourable' prime minister, enough with the photo ops - this is 'not' some pre 2022 general election campaign ....Lots pictures with PM all over colony but not a single photo have I seen of the Defense Forces nor Constabulary conducting rescues in Abaco ....

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Horrifying view from Helicopter flyover boats thrown all along the shores in Abaco, homes damaged or destroyed. Comrade populaces huddled up waiting be rescued -

Dated 9-3-2019 Abaco, Bahamas Dorian devastation from chopper, boats washed ashore, people stranded

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXg9...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beXg9...

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joeblow 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I wonder which Caribbean island will render assistance by relocating about 15,000 Haitians from Abaco and Grand Bahama?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I can tell you which Caribbean nation is least likely to do so....but that's all too obvious. By the way, we are talking about illegal Haitians aliens in Abaco and Grand Bahama - Haitians who illegally left Haiti and illegally entered the Bahamas.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

The U.S. government will no doubt be pressing the Bahamian government to accept a post-Dorian mass airlift of Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama to New Providence as the only viable option in the circumstances, both from a logistical and cost standpoint. Such a mass airlift could be done fairly quickly by a large fleet of Coast Guard helicopters and ships. This would result in our most populated and congested island receiving more than 60,000 people within a week or so at most. This number would of course swell to nearly 75,000 if the U.S. government is unable or unwilling to assist the Bahamian government with pressuring the Haitian government to accept the repatriation of 14,000 plus illegal Haitian aliens currently on Abaco and Grand Bahama. Ideally the Haitian government could at the same time also be pressured into accepting the repatriation of another 30,000 plus illegal Haitians currently on New Providence. The U.S. government would also likely provide foreign aid to help with the mass migration of Grand Bahamians and Abaconians to New Providence. Nassuvians brace yourselves for aftermath impacts of Dorian!

Rumours about the U.S. government possibly waiving visa requirements for Grand Bahamians and Abaconians wishing to seek refugee and/or asylum status in the U.S. are just that - nothing but rumours. The U.S. government knows it would set for them a dangerous precedent for the next country devastated by a category 4 or 5 hurricane in our region of the world.

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alleycat 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thank you thank you Royal Navy, US Coast Guard, Rotary Club, and everyone else who is actually doing something practical to help the survivors. Thank you China, Canada, RBC, and all the people who are donating funds. As for Trump, STAY AWAY. You will only hinder relief efforts - not help them - by shutting down the one remaining airport while you prance around having your photo taken. If you really want to help, send us the money you would have spent on the security arrangements for your visit.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Guess who signed the Executive Order authorizing the Coast Guard and other U.S. government agencies to provide our country with a great deal of invaluable resources to assist with the post-Dorian rescue and relief efforts? Red China gave us $20,000 for which we are obviously grateful. By comparison though the U.S. government, with the authorizing of you know who, has so far contributed a great deal more with much more to come. Be careful the feeding hand you choose to bite in public. Incidentally, a 'fly-over' would not be either intrusive or impeding to the ongoing rescue and relief efforts.

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The_Oracle 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Thus far I am not impressed by those in supposed leadership positions in G.B. I will refrain at this time from any direct comment to allow them time to pull their collective thumbs out of their backsides. Open the doors to relief efforts, scratch your damn forms and applications, check the incoming stuff for contraband and get the hell out of the way. This is far beyond the capabilities of Bahamian government agencies. I see no Chinese hardware flying overhead, I see U.S. assets. Whatever they've offered, accept!

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Hate say this ma comrades, but Is going AWOL on needs dispatching quick emergency relief Abacoians and Grand Bahamalanders - gross governance misconduct, yes, no .... Thanks be Jesus for USA's Coast Guard helicopters .... and is Papa Hubert one the still missing from Abaco - fair asks cause him sure been uncharacteristically media hushed - or is it best say nothing than speaks truth to the lack hurricane emergency response .... No, PM, a flyover is not considered emergency relief response - a flyover Hurricane Katrina was the 'beginning of the end' for the re election US president George W. Bush ....

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 1 day ago

WHAT'S BEING DONE ABOUT THE HAITIAN RIOTS???

WE READY TO GO TO WAR IF YA'LL DON'T DO SOMETHING. I SAY SHOOT EVERYONE RIOTING ..

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 1 day ago

NO TRIALS DON'T WASTE OUR MONEY TRYING THESE ANIMALS. SHOOT THEM ON SITE! AND DO NOT LET THEM REBUILD THOSE SH-THOLES. DEPORT, DEPORT, DEPORT....

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DonAnthony 2 weeks ago

They are a net economic benefit to the Bahamas but we do need integrated communities not segregated ones, hopefully some of them will become your neighbors.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks ago

Spoken like the true representative of the illegal Haitian community that you possibly are. Or perhaps you are one of those modern day slave masters hooked on the illegal Haitian community for the low cost labour that fuels the profits of your business. Incidentally, every academic study done of the economic impact of the illegal Haitian community in the Bahamas concludes that it has a significant net negative (not positive) impact on our economy and foreign currency reserves, not to mention our public education, social welfare and healthcare systems. Do you have any more fake news for us DonAnthony?!

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DonAnthony 2 weeks ago

Neither, you are wrong as usual, my family has been here since 1782, and I have never employed a Haitian in my life. I am sure a hypocrite like you can not say the same.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks ago

I've had a Haitian gardener for 30+ years. I pay him $10 an hour in addition to paying his annual work permit fee and both the employer and employee shares of his national insurance contributions. I also pay the annual registration and license fees, plus annual insurance premium, on a small Japanese economy car that he bought a few years ago and uses to drive to and from my properties. He obviously sends back to his family in Haiti each and every month just about every dollar he makes that he does not need for his own living purposes here in Nassau. Once a year he visits his family in Haiti for a couple of weeks without any pay deduction (i.e. paid vacation) plus I pay for his airfare to and from Haiti. All of this is legal and fine....it's the hiring of illegal Haitians by unscrupulous 'slave master' type Bahamians that's the impetus for all of our country's significant illegal Haitian alien problems. Oh incidentally, in case you're interested, I'm at least fifth generation Bahamian on my mother's side of the family tree.

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DonAnthony 2 weeks ago

Thank you for being honest but you are a self admitted hypocrite. The very people you rail against you create employment for and admit that all excess funds are exported out the country. What benefit is that ? Why not hire a Bahamian?! You hire a Haitian because you want cheap Labour and would rather pay a foreigner than to pay a Bahamian to save a few dollars. Well I reiterate I have never employed a Haitian in my life. It’s Bahamians like you who have created the very “ problem” you complain about. Until you hire a Bahamian please stop w your racist rants against Haitians.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks ago

I rail against the invasion of our country by illegal Haitian aliens

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CiteYourSource 2 weeks ago

Does anyone know the status of Grand? It looked like it sat in the eyewall for many hours...

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Topdude 2 weeks ago

Sick Mudda the Studies you are referring to were probably conducted by Professors from Mickey Mouse University where you received your undergraduate degree in Applied Ignorance.

How in the name of the Almighty can you spill this drivel and filth from your mouth. Could it be that you were not breast fed as a child? Or is it that you were rejected romantically by a Haitian born person ( male or female)?

The level of hate and nonsense you write on a daily basis is a clear reflection that something is wrong with you upstairs and downstairs.

At a time of dystopia in our country you choose once again to rummage through the bottom of the barrel with your uncalled for filth, untruths, xenophobia, malice and nastiness.

What is your problem? Get a life you intellectually constipated dimwit. Take the high road.

And while you are trying to take the high road please credit our Prime Minister and Cabinet for the outstanding job they are doing. Do you think you have the capacity to give credit where credit is due?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks ago

Are you posting for Franky Campbell or Darren Henfield?

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