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'Hurricane Victims Told To Leave Clinic'

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Inside the Marsh Harbour clinic.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

SOME Hurricane Dorian victims have been pushed out of the Marsh Harbour Clinic and are being told they cannot sleep at the government complex, two of the few buildings sheltering residents in the aftermath of the storm.

These were the claims of Richard Johnson Jr, the brother of Adrian Farrington Jr, a five-year-old boy missing in Abaco after he was separated from his father in a power storm surge as Dorian pummeled the island.

When contacted for comment Thursday night, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands confirmed some displaced people had been asked to leave the clinic so that proper attention could be given to those needing medical care and attention.

It is unclear where the displaced people would spend the night; some were evacuated out of the island yesterday, but many more remain on Abaco.

“We had almost 1,000 people in the clinic and we recognised that many of these individuals had no home, no shelter, but it was making it difficult to provide care for the injured and the sick,” Dr Sands said.

Mr Johnson arrived in Sandy Point, Abaco shortly after 3pm Thursday and was disappointed by the level of chaos and level of humanitarian aid on the island once he arrived in Marsh Harbour. His aim is to find his lost brother.

He said Royal Bahamas Police Force officers and Royal Bahamas Defence Force marines are visible, but no tent or officials tending to the needs of victims could be seen.

“When I landed, there were probably about 400 people on the ground trying to get out,” he told The Tribune. “And these people had to pay to get out of Sandy Point.

“I don’t know what time it is. I don’t know what game the government or NEMA playing, but right now I am at the clinic and they are pushing people out and telling them they have to sleep outside.

“The government complex, the people they are telling these victims they can’t stay in there that they have to be outside.”

He continued: “There is no NEMA operation going on here. Only thing I saw was choppers landing and moving people out and taking out the injured. That’s all I’ve seen. But in terms of ground work and restoration it’s not here.

“I’ve been to NEMA office on Gladstone Road (in New Providence) the last three days and all they are doing is playing busy in meetings and running around like they are doing something.

“People are down here dying. This is nonsense.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen the government being proactive after the storm. Where I am at nothing is happening and by now they should have been on the ground with a large tent feeding people and giving medication.”

This comes as there are reports of growing tensions and aggression between residents on the island due to looting, a scarcity of safe dwelling structures and fears over crime.

The Tribune understands the government moved to restore some level of order at the government clinic and complex, after conditions became unsanitary.

Many residents from nearby shanty town The Mudd, which has been destroyed, had been sheltering at the government complex.

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