Bahamas: Hurricane Dorian - Flash Update No. 2 (as of 04 September 2019)

This report is produced in collaboration with humanitarian partners. Information is based on preliminary reports ahead of pending assessments and verification. The update will be produced within the next 24 to 36 hours, depending on the information available from impacted areas.

MAIN POINTS

• Dorian cleared Grand Bahama on 3 September, allowing teams in Bahamas to perform aerial reconnaissance and begin assessing the scope of the damage.

• Initial reports show severe widespread damage to housing and infrastructure across both Abaco and Grand Bahama.

• Bahamas is reporting at least seven deaths so far and are expecting this number to rise.

• Preliminary information on needs suggests that more than 60,000 people may need water and food assistance – further assessments are still pending.

• International organizations are making additional deployments of personnel and resources to support the Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Dorian cleared Grand Bahama on 3 September and is now making its way along the coast of Georgia. Initial reports from Abaco and Grand Bahama suggest serious damage and critical needs for those affected. A flyover of Abaco on 3 September shows that parts of the island are devastated. There is severe damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure. The southern part of the island has suffered less devastation than the north. At least seven deaths have been reported.

The Minister of Health reports that 21 people from Abaco were brought to Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau with a wide range of injuries, adding that Rand Hospital in Grand Bahama is currently unable to provide any medical treatment due to flooding that forced the evacuation of patients. The Minister of State for Grand Bahama reports that 50 patients from a local children’s hospital were relocated.

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) reports most of their towers in Abaco are down. Marsh Harbor port, the main port in Abaco, is reportedly under water. In Grand Bahama, roads are impassable and Fishing Hole Road Bridge, which connects West Grand Bahama and Freeport, is almost underwater, according to the Minister of State of Grand Bahama. Unconfirmed media reports cite surge of about 20 feet higher than the average roof of the homes in the Bahamas and that the Freeport airport is completely flooded.

The Government has stated that they have the capacity to supply food and water for both islands for two weeks. Supplies will be sent once the all-clear has been given.

Teams in Bahamas are beginning reconnaissance flights over Abaco and Grand Bahama to assess the scope and extent of the damage. The UK, through the Department for International Development (DFID), has deployed boats to Marsh Harbor, Abaco, as well.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.