SUNDAY’S LIVE UPDATES CAN BE READ HERE
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames speaks to Jamaican Defence Force officers
12.45am UPDATE:: Minister of National Security Marvin Dames and Commodore Bethell welcomed officers from the Jamaican Defence Force at the Lynden Pindling International Airport at 11 pm Saturday night. The officers are here to assist the RBDF with their efforts in Grand Bahama and Abaco.
University of the Bahamas northern campus in Grand Bahama
22.50pm UPDATE: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers processed the first mass evacuations from Abaco and Grand Bahama in West Palm Beach, Florida, today.
According to the CBP website, the Grand Celebration cruise ship arrived at the port this morning with 1,435 passengers.
CBP officers quickly processed the passengers – 529 US citizens and residents, 857 Bahamians and 39 other nationalities.
Officials from Palm Beach County gave medical and other assistance to the evacuees on the scene.
8.20pm UPDATE: No more volunteers are currently needed at the New Providence Community Church (NPCC), as Bahamians have adequately answered the call to lend a helping hand during the organisation’s Hurricane Dorian relief efforts which continued on Saturday - full story HERE
Glenys Hanna Martin comments on oil spill
PLP Hurricane Relief Committee co-chair Glenys Hanna Martin calls for the government to prioritise the remediation of the oil spill at Star Oil, underscoring environmental and public health risks.
7pm UPDATE: From the Associated Press – The U.S. Coast Guard said it has rescued a total of 290 people in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian. Six MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are carrying out search and rescue missions and providing logistical support, while nine cutters are also helping, the Coast Guard said.
The U.S. Agency for International Development on Saturday announced $1 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help Bahamians, bringing USAID's total funding to more than $2.8 million so far.
The United Nations said eight tonnes of food supplies were to arrive by ship on Saturday at islands devastated by the hurricane. Some 14,700 ready-to-eat meals as well as logistical and telecommunications equipment are being delivered, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program.
"The needs remain enormous," Verhoosel said.
The British Royal Navy, American Airlines, the Royal Caribbean cruise line and other organizations have also contributed to the aid effort.
Marvin Dames, Minister of National Security,, said authorities were striving to reach everyone, but the crews can't just bulldoze their way through fallen trees and other rubble because there might be bodies not yet recovered.
"We have been through this before, but not at this level of devastation," Mr Dames said.
Mr Dames said the runway at the airport on Grand Bahama island had been cleared and was ready for flights. Authorities also said that all ports had been reopened on that island and Abaco, both of which were devastated by the Category 5 storm.
3.25pm UPDATE: The updates from NEMA - Oil spill in Grand Bahama - 'NEMA is aware that there is an oil spill at South Riding Point, near High Rock.
'The incident occurred at Equinor’s storage facility. 'The Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) authorised Equinor to send an aircraft to investigate the facility. The company has conducted visual reconnaissance to determine the scope and extent what has happened and develop a plan to manage the event.
'A team from Water and Sewage Corporation has also been dispatched to the location to assess the situation.
'NEMA is monitoring this event and will provide updates as more information is available.'
• NOTICE ON ACCOMMODATION FOR EVACUEES IN NEW PROVIDENCE
'A dedicated processing centre for evacuees reaching New Providence has been established at Odyssey Aviation by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with national and international non-governmental organizations and private sector volunteers.
'Private vessels facilitating evacuations are asked to contact the NEMA Shelter Coordinator Leonard Cargill (242- 823-5413 or 242-323-1398) to arrange transportation for evacuees to the processing centre.
'Family and friends housing who evacuees can meet at the processing centre.
'Other evacuees will be accommodated at a designated emergency shelter.'
2pm UPDATE: Tribune Reporter Rashad Rolle on how The Mudd and Pigeon Peas were lost - full story HERE
13.15pm UPDATE: Parts of Grand Bahama look like war-torn Baghdad in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, according to one resident who evacuated the island and arrived in the capital on Saturday – Full story HERE
• A conglomerate of local psychologists and therapists are making plans to launch a crisis management counselling initiative that will provide assistance and support to those now dealing with the trauma of living through the horror of Hurricane Dorian – Full story HERE
11.20am UPDATE: US President Donald Trump has tweeted a thanks to Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis for his “very gracious and kind words”.
10am UPDATE: From the Bahamas Red Cross – “The Bahamas Red Cross is in need of assistance. Men that are free today (Saturday 7 Sept, 2019) from 9am-5pm are asked to please come to the Bahamas Red Cross, JFK Highway to help pack and lift boxes. Also, persons that can operate a forklift are also needed.”
9.50am UPDATE: Relief passage for evacuees from Marsh Harbour and Sandypoint, Abaco: The Ministry of Transport and Local Government wishes to advise the public and residents of Marsh Harbour and Sandypoint, Abaco that the Motor Vessels Captain Emmet and Legacy will be departing Potters Cay dock at 8pm, Friday 6 September, 2019 in an effort to provide passage for evacuees from Marsh Harbour and Sandypoint. The schedule will commence as follows:
9/7/2019 FROM SANDYPOINT TO NASSAU – Departs 1pm, arrives 7pm
9/7/2019 FROM MARSH HARBOUR TO NASSAU – Departs 12pm, arrives 12am
Mailboat arrives in Nassau
• A join effort by the PLP’s Hurricane Relief Committee, a private company and NEMA brought an estimated 650 people to Nassau on board the Mailboat.
A social services worker on site said all on board should be registered but it’s not mandatory because they cannot enforce it. ‘It’s overwhelmed,” the worker said.
From the Associated Press: On Saturday morning, several hundred people, many of them Haitian immigrants, waited at Abaco's Marsh Harbour in hopes of leaving the disaster zone on vessels arriving with aid. Bahamian security forces were organizing evacuations on a landing craft. Other boats, including yachts and other private craft, were also helping to evacuate people.
Avery Parotti, a 19-year-old bartender, and partner Stephen Chidles, a 26-year-old gas station attendant had been waiting at the port since 1 a.m. During the hurricane, waves lifted a yacht that smashed against a cement wall, which in turn collapsed on their home and destroyed it.
"There's nothing left here. There are no jobs," said Parotti, who hopes to start a new life in the United States, where she has relatives.
Security Minister Marvin Dames said authorities were striving to reach everyone, but the crews can't just bulldoze their way through fallen trees and other rubble because there might be bodies not yet recovered.
"We have been through this before, but not at this level of devastation," Dames said.
He expressed understanding for the complaints of people who are calling for help after having their lives shattered by Dorian, but he urged patience for efforts by authorities to get in humanitarian aid.