Bahamas: Hurricane Dorian Situation Report No. 02 (as of 10 September 2019)

This report is produced by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in collaboration with UN agencies and humanitarian partners. The next report will be issued in 24-36 hours.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Following the passage of Hurricane Dorian, a category 5 hurricane, from 1-3 September on Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, the official death toll remains at 43: 35 people died in Abaco Islands and eight in Grand Bahama. Many remain missing as search and rescue operations are still underway. The number of casualties is expected to increase.

  • The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has registered approximately 4,800 evacuees in New Providence (Nassau), where some 1,650 are located in shelters and receive much-needed assistance.

  • With the support of UN agencies, humanitarian organizations and military assets, the government-led response is also reaching affected people in Grand Bahama and multiple locations in Abaco Islands, the most affected.

  • Multiple donors and organizations have mobilised and shown solidarity with the people and Government of The Bahamas, including through financial and in-kind contributions.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The death toll remains at 43, with 35 in Abaco and eight on Grand Bahama. Many more are missing and the death toll is expected to rise.

Abaco Islands are the most severely affected. Initial assessments for Abaco found widespread destruction, with thousands of houses levelled, telecommunications towers down, and water wells and roads damaged. There is very limited or no water, electricity and sanitation. Satellite data suggests that in Central Abaco, destroyed buildings are concentrated in the area surrounding Marsh Harbour, the most ravaged, particularly The Pea and The Mudd -- both mostly inhabited by vulnerable, undocumented migrant populations--, and Scotland Cay.

In Grand Bahama, the central and eastern parts are the most impacted, with several homes damaged between Freetown and Deep Water Cay. Satellite data suggests that 76-100 per cent of buildings analyzed near High Rock (central Grand Bahama) and McLeans Town and Deep Water Cay (eastern Grand Bahama) have been destroyed. Oil tanks have also been damaged.

Shelters have opened in Nassau to receive evacuees from the affected islands. NEMA informed that there are approximately 4,800 registered evacuees in New Providence (Nassau). Some evacuees seek shelter with relatives and friends across The Bahamas, while approximately 1,650 of them are located in six shelters in Nassau: Kendall Issacs Gymnasium (1,220), Grants Town 7th Day Adventist Church (30), Calvary Baptist Church (100), Salvation Army (25), Fox Hill Gym (200), and Pilgrim Baptist Church (70).

While access to affected people remains challenging -- including due to damaged roads and infrastructure -- across Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, airports and seaports are increasingly becoming operational, allowing assistance to be delivered. Most seaports are operational, with the exception of those located in East Grand Bahama. Airports are becoming increasingly operational: Grand Bahama International Airport, West End (private), Walkers Cay, Moore’s Island,
Cistern Field, Great Harbour Cay, Treasure Cay and Sandy Point. The following airports have limited operational capacity: Spanish Cay (private), Scotland Cay, and Leonard M Thompson International (Marsh Harbor).

On 9 September, NEMA updated the status of health facilities:
In Abaco, the Sandy Point Clinic is operational while Marsh Harbour Health Care Center and Fox Town Clinic operate with limited capacity. Non-operational: Cooper’s Town Clinic, Hope Town Clinic, Crossing Rock Clinic. Unknown status: Moore’s Island Clinic, Green Turtle Cay Clinic and Man O War Cay Clinic.

In Grand Bahama, Eight Mile Rock Community Clinic and Hawksbill Community Clinic are operational. Operational, limited capacity: Rand Memorial Hospital, Sunrise Medical, Pearce Plaza Specialty Clinic. West End Community Clinic and High Rock Community Clinic. In eastern Bahama the status of three clinic remains unknown: Pelican Point Clinic, McCleans Town Community Clinic, Sweeting’s Cay Clinic.

CDEMA reports that search and recovery operations are still underway, especially in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, adding that they are being coordinated by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, with assistance from US/UK military assets and other search and rescue partners.

UN agencies and partners continue to conduct missions in Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama to assess needs in support of NEMA, while delivering assistance to various locations. As the situation remains fluid, including due to evacuations, regular assessments are required. Preliminary assessments confirm that water, sanitation, health and food are priority needs.

The Water and Sanitation Corporation has advised that the water on Abaco should not be used for either potable or domestic use.

NEMA informs that debris clearance is a priority, particularly on roads to increase access to impacted areas. Heavy equipment is required to facilitate debris clearance and waste management.

Oil leak from oil storage facility in Grand Bahama: the operator has mobilized response teams to conduct an assessment on 8 September, as well as a vessel with equipment to start cleaning up -- expected to arrive on 10 September. The Ministry of Environment is conducting a six-week assessment mission in Abaco to look at hazardous material risks, the same day.

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