The Latest: Thousands in shelters near Bahamas capital
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Dorian and the Bahamas (all times local):
The spokesman for the Bahamas’ emergency management agency says that 2,043 people displaced by Hurricane Dorian are in shelters on the country’s most populous island, New Providence. Many others are staying with friends or relatives.
Spokesman Carl Smith told a news conference Tuesday that more shelters will be opened as needed, and the director of a nonprofit on Eleuthera island said unmet needs are growing.
Sadye Francis said, “There are still others that have nowhere to go.” She adds that, “The true depth of the devastation in Abaco and Grand Bahama (islands) is still unfolding.”
The Category 5 hurricane obliterated or gravely damaged buildings across those two northern Bahamian islands.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the state is sending the Bahamas enough bottled water to fill 10 tractor-trailer rigs the islands recover from Hurricane Dorian.
DeSantis held a press conference Tuesday to make the announcement. He said Florida Power & Light is also contributing nine truckloads of water to the effort, and that overall, the state is helping coordinate $11 million worth of cash, supplies and services pledged to help the Bahamas.
DeSantis said the water will come from the state’s stockpile for its own hurricane relief, but he said that Florida still should be able to meet its needs should a hurricane hit the state this season.
At least 50 people have died in the Bahamas after the slow-moving, Category 5 hurricane stuck the islands. Thousands of people have been left homeless.
Caribbean emergency officials say mortuary facilities on the Bahamian island of New Providence are “overwhelmed” as workers store bodies of victims of Hurricane Dorian.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency says bodies are being placed in body bags and stored in refrigerated containers as “a temporary measure.”
The Bahamian government says at least 50 people died and that the death toll is expected to rise.
The Caribbean disaster agency says “environmental health concerns” in northern islands ravaged by the hurricane have increased and that there is a stench from dead animals and possibly human bodies.
The agency also said Monday that six shelters on New Providence are packed with 1,675 people who were evacuated from Abaco and Grand Bahama islands. It says other evacuees are sheltering with family and friends on other islands.
The government in the Bahamas says the death toll from Hurricane Dorian has risen to at least 50.
Health Minister Duane Sands on Tuesday confirmed the increase in the death toll in a message to The Associated Press.
Authorities say they expect to find more bodies as they search through debris in devastated areas of the northern Bahamas.
Members of the Gainesville, Florida, fire department found five bodies Monday in the destroyed neighborhood known as The Mudd, the Bahamas’ largest Haitian immigrant community.
Dorian is blamed for at least seven other deaths in the Southeast U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Thousands of hurricane survivors are filing off boats and planes in the capital of the Bahamas, facing the need to start new lives after Hurricane Dorian but with little ideas on how or where to begin.
Some sit in hotel lobbies as they debate their next steps. Others have been bused to shelters jammed to capacity. Some got rides from friends or family who offered a temporary place to stay on New Providence, which holds the capital, Nassau.
The government has estimated that up to 10,000 people from the Abaco islands alone will need food, water and temporary housing as officials consider setting up tent or container cities while they clear the country’s ravaged northern region of debris so people can eventually return.