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Hurricane Dorian leaves at least 44 dead in the Bahamas; hundreds still missing
Nearly a week after Hurricane Dorian unleashed its wrath on the Bahamas, the death count has risen to 44 — and according to Breitbart, that number is expected to keep climbing.
The island nation’s government announced the grim statistic Sunday, nearly a week after Dorian first hit the Caribbean on its path toward America’s East Coast. As the storm pelted the Bahamas, horrifying images of destruction emerged: storm surge flooding submerged residential streets in water, while rooves were torn clean off of houses.
Dorian demolishes the Bahamas
By the time the then-Category 5 storm was finished, parts of the Bahamas were rendered unrecognizable. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island took the biggest hits, as the storm passed and then hovered over the islands Monday into Tuesday.
In the days since the storm walloped the Caribbean islands, a more complete picture of the destruction has emerged as medical officials have finally begun responding to residents. Bahamas Health Minister Duane Sands said that two medical teams had been dispatched to Abaco and that three more would arrive in Grand Bahama Island by Monday.
According to government officials, eight deaths have been confirmed in Grand Bahama, and more than 30 occurred in Abaco. But with hundreds still missing, residents and media outlets alike are saying that the death toll is likely much higher.
While the government denies lying about the death toll, officials are warning residents to expect the worst. “The public needs to prepare for unimaginable information about the death toll and the human suffering,” Sands said, according to Weather.com.
Thousands feared dead
Indeed, the Bahamas Press reported Monday that the official statistic is far too low for the damage done by the deadliest storm to ever hit the island. The paper projected that the toll could rise to more than 3,000, citing residents of the northern Bahamas.
That grim prediction seems consistent with the reports given by residents of the islands to reporters. Fox News reported 18 dead in Grand Bahama alone, while The New York Times counted some six bodies in 45 minutes.
Many survivors have described apocalyptic scenes of bodies lying about in the open, unaccounted for and decaying in the sun. “I’ve seen dead bodies. I’ve seen bodies of people crushed by debris, hanging out [of] windows. It’s not good,” one survivor told TIME magazine.
Residents have also accused the government of responding ineffectively to the storm as hundreds seek to evacuate Abaco and Grand Bahama. Some have even expressed concern about water contamination by the corpses of Dorian’s victims.
Sands insisted to the Miami Herald that the government’s focus remains on helping the living stay alive — not worrying about the death count. Meanwhile, aid is pouring in for survivors from Good Samaritans and aid organizations including the United Nations.
Some 2,500 people have been evacuated in Abaco, and the U.S. Coast Guard has reportedly rescued some 300 people. Evacuees are reportedly being brought to Nassau, the nation’s capital, which escaped the storm mostly unscathed.
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