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Hurricane Dorian: Police Say 45 Dead, Urge Public To File Missing Persons Reports

US Coast Guard helicopters fly over Marsh Harbour on Sunday. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

US Coast Guard helicopters fly over Marsh Harbour on Sunday. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

• LIVE COVERAGE OF EVENTS IN THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE DORIAN WILL CONTINUE HERE

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WEST END CLINIC IN GRAND BAHAMA UP AND RUNNING

10.05pm UPDATE: Statement from the Royal Bahamas Police Force: “The Royal Bahamas Police Force wishes to advise that, to date, Sunday, September 8, 2019 they have located 45 bodies in the Hurricane Dorian affected area: 37 in Abaco and 8 in Grand Bahama. In their announcement the RBPF states: ‘We anticipate the discovery of more bodies as the process of search and recovery progresses. There are many more persons presumed missing and we are appealing to the public to file Missing Persons reports, with the police, of those persons who have not been seen since the passage of Hurricane Dorian. We offer condolences to those families who have had loved ones die during the storm. And every effort is being made along with our local and international law enforcement partners to bring closure.’”

8.45pm UPDATE: The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says the death toll from Hurricane Dorian currently stands at 43 – earlier today we were told by Health Minister Dr Duane Sands it had risen to 44.

7.45pm UPDATE: In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, high level meetings were held today with Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and USAID Administrator Mark Green and his team at the British Colonial Hilton. Pictured in the group photo are, from left, Chief Operating Officer of Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, Viana Gardiner; USAID Administrator Mark Green; Prime Minister Minnis; Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd; and US Embassy Charge d'Affaires Stephanie Bowers. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)

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Minister with Defence Force officers

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames visits with Royal Bahamas Defence Force Officers at the Kendal G L Isaacs Shelter, Oaks Field earlier this afternoon.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames visits with Royal Bahamas Defence Force Officers at the Kendal G L Isaacs Shelter, Oaks Field earlier this afternoon.

6.05 pm UPDATE: From the Grand Bahama Power Company – The following areas are scheduled to be energised on Sunday, September 8th:

Eight Mile Rock (Up to N&A)

Pelican Bay Hotel

Grand Lucayan Hotel

Seahorse Plaza

Parts of Kings Road

Coral Beach

Harbor House Towers

Parts of Seahorse Village

Parts of Windsor Park

Parts of the Ridge

Parts of Royal Bahamia Estates

17.50pm UPDATE; Samaritan Purse is erecting a field hospital at Rand Memorial Hospital. The field hospital is expected to be operational by the end of the day, Monday.

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Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force

4.40pm UPDATE: 100 Defence Force soldiers from Trinidad and Tobago left this morning for the Bahamas to lend support during the hurricane relief efforts.

2pm UPDATE: Health Minister Dr Duane Sands has said the death toll is now 44.

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Bermuda tweet

1.15pm UPDATE: The Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development advises the general public that the below-listed phone line has been established at the Disaster Management Unit, Department of Social Services, dedicated for use by those members of the general public wishing to register the name(s) of family members whom they have been unable to contact since the passage of Hurricane Dorian: 323-1877.

1pm UPDATE: Coral Harbour Base, 08 SEPT. ‘19 (RBDF): Approximately 3,000 residents have been evacuated from Abaco and some of the surrounding cays since the passage of Hurricane Dorian. A total of 93 persons were brought into the capital early Sunday morning.

The latest group of displaced residents arrived on the Royal Bahamas Defence Force's Auxiliary Craft HMBS Lawrence Major shortly after 6:00 am. Relatives and loved ones were on hand to meet them.

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to work along with local and international agencies on the island of Abaco in the ongoing search, recovery and relief efforts.

• From Baha Mar: “Baha Mar resort destination in Nassau has committed $2 million USD in financial aid to support immediate disaster relief and long-term recovery for our fellow Bahamians severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

“Baha Mar’s $ 2 million USD commitment will go directly to partner relief organizations in The Bahamas as well as Baha Mar’s own dedicated work in delivering emergency relief to volunteers and disaster victims. This donation is part of Baha Mar’s ongoing devotion to a series of continued relief efforts, including a dedicated plan and investment into the longer-term recovery for a stronger Bahamas of tomorrow.

“‘Our hearts are heavy with sadness and loss over Hurricane Dorian’s path of destruction and damage to our beloved nation and its people,’ said Graeme Davis, President, Baha Mar. ‘Now is the time to come together and support those who need our help, especially in The Abacos and Grand Bahama. Baha Mar is spearheading ongoing recovery efforts to aid today’s victims while working towards strengthen our nation to come back stronger than ever.’

“In addition to this immediate commitment, The Baha Mar Foundation is collecting financial support from our guests, partners and community and 100% of those proceeds are going directly to those in need, as well as partnering with local organizations and the Bahamian authorities to distribute daily food, medicine, supplies and other necessities to volunteers and disaster victims”

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Minister of National Security Marvin Dames speaks to Jamaican Defence Force officers

11.10am UPDATE: From The Office of The Prime Minister:

More than 900 Bahamian police, Defence Force officers on Abaco and Grand Bahama, CARICOM security arrives to support local forces

The Government of The Bahamas is providing the necessary resources to ensure safety and security on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

As of Saturday 7 September, a total of 274 Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers were on Abaco. On Grand Bahama, there were 666 Royal Bahamas Police Force and Royal Bahamas Defence Force officers on the island. These figures include police reserves.

The Government also wishes to advise that 120 security personnel from the Jamaican Defence Force, as part of a CARICOM force, arrived in The Bahamas on Saturday (7 September) evening. The team was met at the airport by Minister of National Security Hon. Marvin Dames and RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel.

As part of the same CARICOM force, 100 security personnel from Trinidad and Tobago are scheduled to arrive in The Bahamas today.

Additionally, there are large numbers of security forces from the United States of America and the United Kingdom present on the affected islands involved in search, rescue and recovery efforts.

Breakdown of Bahamian Security Force Numbers (as of Saturday 7 September)

RBPF: Abaco • Ordinary officers: 100 • Reserves: 40

Grand Bahama • Ordinary officers: 400 • Reserves: 150 (Source: Royal Bahamas Police Force)

RBDF: Abaco • Ground troops: 87 • Ships crew: 47 (three vessels) • Total: 134

Grand Bahama: • Ground troops: 65 • Ship’s crew: 51 (one vessel) • Total: 116

(Source: Royal Bahamas Defence Force):

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University of the Bahamas northern campus in Grand Bahama

10.25am UPDATE: From the Associated Press – Emergency officials say they have had to "clamp down" on aircraft demanding payment for evacuating displaced people from areas devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

The National Emergency Management Agency says aviation authorities are aware of reports of "commercial activity" and will revoke flight permission for any aircraft charging fees.

The agency said in a statement Sunday that no flights are permitted to bill for evacuations and that consumer protection officials are investigating "incidences of price gouging."

Civil aviation authorities also say they are restricting air space over the devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama islands to prevent accidents and ensure only approved aircraft that are providing aid can fly there.

Officials have already authorised 200 private planes in the area and say "saturated airspace was creating a volatile situation."

About 250 people who lost their homes when Hurricane Dorian hit the northern Bahamas have arrived in Nassau after a 13-hour trip on a government-chartered ferry.

Passengers on the "Sea Wind" ferry arrived in Nassau on Saturday, joining hundreds of other people from Abaco and Grand Bahama islands who were desperate to escape harsh conditions there.

Carlen Merizier, 23, says she and her two-year-old son are lucky to be alive. She says "a lot of people died" and that she started praying when her home collapsed in the hurricane.

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joeblow 2 weeks, 1 day ago

This is getting more and more ridiculous everyday. NEMA cannot demand that private planes NOT ask a price for evacuations since pilots are responsible for fuel and the risk associated with these flights into nonfunctional airports etc. Instead, NEMA should step in and compensate those willing to provide the service of their private planes for evacuations. Otherwise Bahamasair should be used exclusively for evacuating those unable to pay, because those who have the money will not wait for an inefficient government to transport them to safety!!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Successive governments since 1973 have stymied the growth and development of our country as a result of their insatiable appetite for dictatorial power over anything and everything that goes on in our country. Most of the statutes and related regulations enacted by our country's legislators since 1973 give a cabinet minister or another individual as the designated proxy for the cabinet minister near absolute say over whatever the legislation (statutory act and rules) touch on. It's as if the public at large (Bahamians and other residents, and local and foreign businessmen and investors) cannot do or accomplish anything without unnecessary government (ministerial) intervention and approval at just about every step along the way of trying to do or achieve just about any and everything. This is the very means by which corruption has literally been imbedded in our successive governments. Our political leaders crave this kind of control because it enables them to dictate their wants and needs to the public at large, which if not met, results in the denial or withholding of their "cup in hand" approval processes.

Our political leaders were never intended to have this kind of unconstitutional dictatorial power that they have ascribed unto themselves through their unchecked control of the legislative process with no effective constitutionality backstop by our judicial system. And this unconstitutional dictatorial power grab by our political leaders has transformed our civil work force from being public servants to being public rulers (mini-dictators) with plenty of room for corruption by them as well.

We have literally become a country where wrongful "pay-government-to-play" is the norm, resulting in costly misallocations of capital and serious delays that stymy the efforts of individuals and businesses to get anything they wish to get done. Our country will continue to be crippled by feckless, greedy and incompetent political leaders until such time the Bahamian people take their country back from them by stripping out all provisions in our existing statute law that grant de facto dictatorial powers to a cabinet minister or his or her proxy.

Our country should be governed by elected political leaders and a civil work force who serve the the Bahamian people and our country's vital interests as opposed to political leaders and a civil work force who want to dictate to and rule over every endeavour and aspect of our lives for their very own greedy benefit and self-interests.

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Porcupine 2 weeks, 1 day ago

And, you are absolutely correct. Serve means just that. Pity we play with the language so.

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buddah17 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I feel that maybe BOATS from The Bahamas should be utilized to take the people off of the two islands, and not planes.. Safer(?) and more room to carry load....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Flights from Haiti that have no passengers on arrival should be allowed to land and board illegal Haitian aliens if the direct return destination of the flight will be Haiti.

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ohdrap4 2 weeks, 1 day ago

The govt provided funding to the operatorars. All they have to do is do as mny trips as the funding allowed.

Boats are now being used. Mailboats and fast diving boats in Abaco and cruise ships in Freeport.

Some are being taken to Eleuthera then being ferried free of charge.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

What's your point on the government's clamping down on private flights? Obviously whatever private flight funding the government may have provided wasn't enough. Don't get me wrong though, like most Bahamians I am very supportive of our government officials ensuring that the enormous population of illegal Haitians on Abaco and Grand Bahama do not end up on New Providence. Already, before Dorian, New Providence has over 30,000+ Haitians who have illegally entered the Bahamas. They are living in ever growing crime ridden, impoverished and disease infested shanty towns that steal power anyway possible from our already overtaxed electrical power grid.

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ohdrap4 2 weeks, 1 day ago

It was only yesterday the govt reckoned that Nassau cannot accomodate all victims.

A large number of bahamians will have a place to stay.

Now, tell me, what has the govt done about tge illegals? Suspended Immigration Enforcement !!!!!!

What will happen is the illegals will be left there to loot the few standing buildings, will repair others and bring more illegals there. A real invasion.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Ma Comrade, there is what 'appears be a credible report' coming out Abaco of creole speaking individuals dressed in colony's policeman's uniforms, armed with machine guns - stopping and robbing a Customs official of his wallet, yes, no .... the PM needs forthwith step forward clarify if any truth this disturbing, alarming all Abacoians circulating claim by a man''s claiming' be a high Customs official ....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

One thing is for sure, you're a bonafide virulent source of much fake news. Yes, plenty of armed violence and looting by illegal Haitian aliens.....but the rest of what you say is highly questionable unless you can point to independent news reports from reputable media outlets.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

I presented what 'appears to be a credible claim by an individual claiming be high ranking Customs official'.
I'm finished with what appears be a most credible claim. I'll leave it to the colony's comrade prime minister to dismiss because the evidence presented did not match the known facts, yes, no....

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

My new comrade sources are correcting that the machine gun armed robbers did rob an official customs officer but were 'NOT' wearing policeman's uniforms.

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killemwitdakno 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Why no info more info on getting on the ferry?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

The BIA noted that its industry partners, including insurance adjusters and catastrophe response experts, have been engaged and are on standby in Nassau, in Florida and in the region. “Following the ‘all clear’ and with the coordination of the relevant authorities on the ground, teams will be deployed as soon as possible to begin assessments,” the BIA said.​

What part of the well publicized and documented fact that all of Central and Northern Abaco has been completely decimated do they not get? The same goes for much of Grand Bahama. These insurance vultures should simply be cutting cheques to the insured individuals and businesses for the maximum amount of losses covered by their insurance policies, save for third party liability coverages. Instead these insurance vultures want to delay the claims settlement process in the hope of being able to persuade traumatized and desperate survivors, who have lost everything, to sign a piece of paper evidencing their agreement to accept claim settlement amounts that are much lower than they are truly entitled to receive.

The extensive aerial video coverage that has been made public of the complete and utter destruction caused by this cataclysmic event is plently evidence enough that the insurance adjusters and catastrophe experts really have nothing at all to do in the case of the vast majority of the insurance policies. The last thing insured traumatized survivors who have lost everything need right now is stress and pressure tactics from greedy insurers seeking to minimize their insurance claim settlements.

The Insurance Commissioner of The Bahamas needs to get off of her well endowed derrière and immediately make certain expected and warranted public announcements aimed at protecting insured individuals and businesses from the well known predatory practices of property and casualty insurers. These announcements should include full page notices in The Tribune, The Nassau Guardian and The Punch, as well as public announcements on the two main local TV stations (JCN not being one of them). The announcements should also appear on the Insurance Commission's official website.

The Insurance Commission must set up a special 'Dorian' unit within her official Office to handle inquiries and complaints of aggrieved policyholders who have good reason to believe they may be victims of predatory insurance practices aimed at depriving them of the claim settlement proceeds to which they are entitled to receive at the earliest possible time. Insurers found to be engaged in predatory practices should face appropriate penalties including the possibility of their insurance underwriting capabilities being suspended pending the outcome of an investigation of their conduct by the Commissioner's Office.

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TalRussell 2 weeks ago

There is that mandatory 'photo op' staging with some comrade Imperialists red shirts politician -before dispatching off help to the populaces and visitors in the Abaco's and Grand Bahamaland, yes, no .... Is the Commish Constabulary, away off island on vacation ....

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B_I_D___ 2 weeks ago

44 people...BULLSH!T...fess up NEMA and GOVT peeps, you have HUNDREDS of bodies stacked up...CONFIRMED identification or not, it is still a dead body of someone, illegal or otherwise. STOP trying to spin some retarded PR web that it's only 44 people. Let's get real and DEAL WITH IT...

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B_I_D___ 2 weeks ago

Give us the stats on pure body count...not just confirmed ID-ed individuals.

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TalRussell 2 weeks ago

Only in colony of out islands would Realm's comrades charged with governing - come up new and improved version what it really takes be declared. dead, yes, no .... those dead in 'absentia' ain't never going be declared dead, dead ....You just can't make this up ....

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realitycheck242 2 weeks ago

Make the entire east end of Grand Bahama a National park beginning from High Rock. Close down the Burma Oil terminal and remediate the entire area.asap. But most of alll send a message to the principles of OBAN and tell them to take their plans out of the Bahamas entirely. Mother nature is speaking to us..The window for us to listen and take heed will be totally closed in about 20 years. We must reverse the destruction to mother earth caused by human greed. hurricaine Dorian was just a warning Take heed or watch human suffering multiply around the world.

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TalRussell 2 weeks ago

Comrade Isaiah 57:16 -
"For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always be angry. If I were, all populaces on Abaco and Grand Bahamaland would've passed away - all the souls I have made".

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Porcupine 2 weeks ago

realitycheck, You are correct.

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Nabb 2 weeks ago

As a Grand Bahamian for more than 40 years I find it interesting to hear those people who what to have most of the population move to New Providence. What happens if and when the big one hits that little island or are you immune from hurricanes. We need as many Grand Bahamian that can to stay strong pull together and rebuild. I love this island and what it has to offer. No island could have withstood what Abaco and GB went through so for us all to flee to the 7x21 land mass of New Providence doesn’t make sense. Let’s stop pointing fingers and rebuild these beautiful island.

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Chucky 2 weeks ago

A defence force friend told me that in one area alone there are 116 bodies lined up , waiting for bags.

One car had seven dead people in it, looked like a family.

He says the smell of death is overpowering. And sadly many of the dead are young children.

Why did this happen like this. We have so many capable people, and so many amazing homes and buildings. We have ferries and barges etc. We could have had all those people out of harms way.

We need to figure out how to deal with these risks ahead of time. And how to get our people to safety, with or without the governments help. Clearly they , the government, are not quick enough to act.

Government could have conscripted every boat and plane in the country. Either before the storm, or right after.

Why is this going so badly.

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jamaicaproud 2 weeks ago

It happened because of Hate. People don't care. It's Haitians let them die.Let them wash away with their ghettos and shanties. Obsess about illegals not knowing the hurricane blows on the papered and the unpapered. You allow need to change. We are dealing with humans.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 week, 6 days ago

Do you for moment have any idea how many Bahamians have suffered immense hardships or died over the last three decades or so because of our overwhelming problems directly tied to the invasion of the Bahamas by illegal Haitian aliens? Thousands and thousands of Bahamians have been the victims over the past 30+ years of successive governments (PLP and FNM alike) that have failed to enforce our country's immigration laws.....as a result we have a failed public healthcare system, a failed public education system, rampant violent crime, etc. etc.....and who sheds a meaningful tear of sympathy for all the suffering Bahamians have had to endure? Our country has been taken over by illegal Haitian and Jamaican aliens, and racketeering criminal thugs known as the numbers bosses who run the gaming web shops. More recently our small nation has had major inflows of Red China nationals and Central Americans. Too sad for me as a Bahamian to even wrap my thoughts around these days. Bahamians have always had one very admirable trait going for them as as tourist destination...... a docile and laid back, happy-go-lucky attitude towards life. But that dominant docile gene has made us easy prey for the aggressive forces that have invaded our country and now threaten our eventual extinction.

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joeblow 1 week, 6 days ago

@jamaicaproud What an idiotic response! Bahamians were lost in this tragedy as well! Get a grip!

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