Northern Bahamas ravaged by ‘terrible devastation’
Following the “terrible devastation” of parts of the northern Bahamas in the Caribbean caused by Hurricane Dorian, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Wednesday he “remains deeply concerned” for those thousands impacted by the giant storm.
The UN chief said in a statement that he was especially concerned “for the tens of thousands of people affected in Grand Bahamas and Abaco. He offers his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the disaster and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.”
Mr. Guterres said the UN was supporting the ongoing Government-led rescue and relief efforts and was contributing assessment teams to join others deploying to the affected areas.
“People who have lost everything urgently need shelter, safe drinking water, food and medicine” he added, calling on donors to provide emergency funding for the humanitarian response and recovery efforts, “as soon as the requirements are known.”
Rescuers have now begun to reach the worst hit parts of the archipelago, which consists of around 700 islands stretching across more than 100,000 square miles of ocean, after Dorian made landfall at the weekend as a Category 5 hurricane.
Aerial images show a major level of destruction on the ground, and the official death toll of eight, is expected to rise. The hurricane remained over the north-west Bahamas for one and a half days, before weakening and moving away towards the coast of Florida. As of Wednesday afternoon local time, it was moving north bearing towards Georgia and the Carolinas.
The UN relief chief who heads up the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Mark Lowcock, travelled to the Bahamas on Wednesday to see for himself the extent of the damage, and express the United Nations’ solidarity with the people and the Government of the Bahamas.