More than 75,000 people could need food and other aid in the Bahamas after the Caribbean nation was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, the UN’s World Food Programme said on Thursday, with eight tonnes of supplies ready to arrive.
Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast on Thursday, threatening record flooding.
Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation, with the harbour, shops, workplaces, a hospital and airport landing strips damaged or decimated, frustrating rescue efforts.
One of the most powerful Caribbean storms on record, Dorian was rated a Category 5 hurricane when it killed at least 20 people in the Bahamas. Authorities expect that number to rise, Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at a news briefing, as retreating floodwaters revealed the scope of destruction.
One of the storm survivors on the Abaco Islands, Ramond King, said he watched as swirling winds ripped the roof off his house, then churned to a neighbour’s home to pluck the entire structure into the sky.
“‘This can’t be real, this can’t be real’,” King recalled thinking. “Nothing is here, nothing at all. Everything is gone, just bodies.”