Joint strongest ever Atlantic storm Hurricane Dorian has caused a significant amount of damage in the Bahamas, decimating houses, properties and rendering many homeless.
The extent of the shock brought about by the hurricane was reflected by the Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, who wept at a press conference: “This is probably the saddest and worst day of my life to address the Bahamian people…We are facing a hurricane, Hurricane Dorian that we have never seen in the Bahamas.”
Earlier, Hubert Minnis warned that anyone who did not evacuate was placing themselves in extreme danger and could expect “a catastrophic consequence”. The government opened 14 shelters across the Bahamas. Dozens ignored evacuation orders, officials said.
Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas’ ministry of tourism and aviation, said: “It’s devastating.There has been huge damage to property and infrastructure. Luckily, no loss of life reported.”
“Pray for the people in the Bahamas,” Donald Trump tweeted after returning to the White House from Camp David, to better monitor the federal response to the storm. “Being hit like never before, Category 5. Almost 200 MPH winds.”
Earlier he told a meeting of the federal emergency response agency (FEMA) at its headquarters: “We don’t even know what’s coming at us. All we know is it’s possibly the biggest. I’m not sure that I’ve ever even heard of a Category 5. I knew it existed. And I’ve seen some Category 4s – you don’t even see them that much. But a Category 5 … that’s the ultimate, and that’s what we have unfortunately,”
A lot of people have refused to abandon ship, notably Jack Pittard, a 76-year-old American who has visited the Bahamas for 40 years, said he has decided to ride out the storm – his first hurricane – in the Abaco Islands. A short video he posted, showed winds shaking his home and ripping off its siding, the Associated Press reported. “I’m not afraid of dying here,” said Mr Pittard, who lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Silbert Mills, Owner of the Bahamas Christian Network, Silbert Mills lamented that trees and power lines were torn down in the Abaco Islands and some roads were unnavigable.
“The winds are howling like we’ve never, ever experienced before,” said Mr Mills, 59, who planned to ride out the hurricane with his family in the concrete home he built 41 years ago in central Abaco.
According to The Independent, while forecasters believe Dorian will no longer directly strike Florida, it is expected to turn sharply and move towards the US coast, staying just off Florida and Georgia on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is then likely to move towards the Carolinas.