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'Generational Devastation' in the Bahamas

Dorian death toll of 20 is expected to rise
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 5, 2019 3:47 AM CDT
Dorian Leaves Chaos, at Least 20 Dead in the Bahamas
The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian is seen from the air, in Marsh Harbor, Abaco Island, Bahamas, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019.   (AP Photo/Gonzalo Gaudenzi)

(Newser) – Hurricane Dorian has now moved away from the Bahamas, leaving chaos, devastation, and at least 20 dead behind it. Bahamas Health Minister Duane Sands tells NBC that the death toll is expected to rise significantly when searches of hard-hit remote areas are completed. "We've had an absolute horrendous tragedy, numbers of lives lost, and we have not completed the door-to-door," the minister says. The hurricane, which hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm, is believed to have destroyed or severely damaged around half the homes on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, which are home to around 70,000 people, reports the AP. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Wednesday that the storm had caused "generational devastation" in the islands, where rescue crews have yet to reach some areas and survivors are desperate for food, medicine, and water.

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Minnis said health workers have been sent to the islands, along with hundreds of police and marines, to restore order amid reports of widespread looting, Bloomberg reports. "Bahamians are distressed that anyone would loot and further the suffering of those affected by this tragedy," Minnis said. "Be warned, we will prosecute looters and other law breakers to the full extent of the law." The US Coast Guard and the British Royal Marines have brought dozens of critically injured survivors to a rescue center in the capital, Nassau, the Guardian reports. "I guess you would call it a British protectorate, but I will do a lot," President Trump told reporters Wednesday. "We're waiting for a call—they’re having a lot of trouble with the telephones over there as you can imagine—from the prime minister and we're helping a lot." (Read more Hurricane Dorian stories.)

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