Aerial Footage Shows 'Apocalyptic' Destruction in Bahamas

'The area around the airport now looks like a lake'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2019 6:33 AM CDT

The terrifying scale of destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas was revealed in aerial footage from some of the hardest-hit areas. The footage from the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama shows seawater where streets used to be and the shattered remains of hundreds of homes, reports the Guardian, noting: "In many areas, life on the islands appeared to have simply been erased." Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Tuesday night that he had toured Great Abaco, where the airport is now underwater, reports NBC. "The area around the airport now looks like a lake," Minnis said. "We are in the midst of the greatest national crisis in our country's history." Around 60% of Grand Bahama, population 50,000, is also underwater. At least seven deaths have been reported from the storm, which hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane, though Minnis expects the death toll to rise, the AP reports.

"It's total devastation. It's decimated. Apocalyptic," said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief group and flew over the Abaco Islands. The slow-moving storm battered the area for more than a day and was not expected to leave the area until early Wednesday. The US Coast Guard has been conducting evacuation missions, and residents on jet skis have been rescuing people stuck on rooftops, the New York Times reports. United Nations and Red Cross officials say more than 60,000 people on the islands, where around 13,000 homes were destroyed, are going to need supplies of food and drinking water. NOAA says the storm, now a Category 2 hurricane moving slowly toward the US East Coast, will bring "life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds" to the east coast of Florida and the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas. More than 2 million people in those states have been warned to evacuate. (More Hurricane Dorian stories.)

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