Published On: Fri, Sep 6th, 2019

Hurricane Dorian death toll: The harrowing accounts as survivors tell their story | World | News

Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas on Sunday, September 1 as a deadly Category 5 hurricane – the worst ever to hit the islands. The severe weather system then stalled over the islands for more than 24 hours, unleashing hurricane-force winds, torrential rain and catastrophic storm surge. Now as the storm has tracked away from the Bahamas, the extent of the damage left behind is beginning to emerge.

As of Thursday evening, the death toll on the island stood at 30 but is believed to be considerably higher according to reports on the ground.

Health Minister Duane Sands was quoted by The Nassau Guardian as saying of the death toll: “Let me say that I believe the number will be staggering.

“I have never lived through anything like this and I don’t want to live through anything like this again.”

One shantytown, known as The Mud near Marsh Harbour was obliterated by the catastrophic storm, with debris from buildings strewn across the area.

Read More: Hurricane Dorian weather: Tracking Hurricane Dorian – NOAA latest

Hurricane Dorian death toll

Hurricane Dorian death toll: Category 5 hurricane Dorian caused devastation to the Bahamas (Image: REUTERS)

Bodies are believed to be still below the ruins, based on the smell coming from the debris, according to a Reuters photographer who visited the area.

One harrowing story came from resident Richard Johnson, who said his six-year-old brother Adrian was just too small to withstand Hurricane Dorian.

The boy was blown into churning storm surge and is among thousands of people missing, many of them children.

Mr Johnson said of his brother: “I guess within seconds the gusts of the wind blew the little boy off the roof into the water.

“Given the circumstances, I’m not that hopeful.”

Read More: Hurricane tracker update: Map reveals FOUR devastating storms near US

Hurricane Dorian death toll

Hurricane Dorian death toll: Homes, cars and trees have been destroyed in the hurricane (Image: REUTERS)

A British woman was trapped beneath the rubble for days and was rescued by the Royal Navy, before being airlifted to hospital in the capital of the island nation, Nassau.

Ronnie Archer, 71, told The Telegraph many of those killed by the hurricane lay in the streets of Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

Looting has also begun to take place, with many raiding shops for food and water.

Ms Archer said: “The morgue is full and there are bodies floating in the water.

Read More: Hurricane Dorian NOAA tracker: Horror storm hurtles towards US

Hurricane Dorian death toll

Hurricane Dorian death toll: Severe winds have decimated structures (Image: REUTERS)

“A friend of mine bumped into the body of a woman which was just floating in the streets.

“There is now lots of looting happening. There are people taking rice, juice, everything they can get their hands on. I don’t know if they are armed.”

The United Nations estimates 70,000 people are in immediate need of food, water and shelter, as international aid makes its way to the Bahamas.

Total insured and uninsured losses in the Bahamas amounted to $7 billion, including buildings and business interruptions, according to a preliminary estimate by Karen Clark & Co, a consultancy that provides catastrophic modelling and risk management services.

Hurricane Dorian death toll

Hurricane Dorian death toll: An estimated 70,000 people are in immediate need of food, water and shelter (Image: REUTERS)

Hurricane Dorian death toll

Hurricane Dorian death toll: Supermarkets have been looted by those desperate for food and water (Image: REUTERS)

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday it was organising an airlift from Panama of storage units, generators and prefab offices for two logistics hubs, as well as satellite equipment for emergency responders, and has bought eight metric tonnes of ready-to-eat meals.

Dorian has now been downgraded to a category one hurricane, and is unleashing strong winds, torrential rain and dangerous storm surge on the southeastern US coast.

After the Bahamas, Dorian grazed past Florida at a relatively safe distance, skimmed Georgia, and then hugged the South Carolina-North Carolina coastline.

At least four deaths in the US south-east have been blamed on the storm.

Now it is closing in for a possible direct hit on North Carolina’s low-lying Outer Banks islands.

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