One more confirmed dead since last Monday
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Two weeks after Hurricane Dorian decimated the northwest Bahamas, namely Abaco and Grand Bahama, authorities have placed the death toll as of Monday at 51, one more than what was reported a week ago.
In a statement, Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson said officers located and recovered 43 bodies in Abaco and eight in Grand Bahama.
The death toll was confirmed at 50 last Monday.
According to the commissioner, the additional storm victim, who was described as a Caucasian man, was recovered in Marsh Harbour.
His body was decomposed.
“We recognize that many persons are presumed missing and we anticipate the discovery of more deceased persons, as the process of search and recovery progresses,” Ferguson said.
“As there are many more persons presumed missing; since they have not been seen or heard from since the passage of Hurricane Dorian, we are appealing to family members to file missing person’s reports with the police.
“We offer sincere condolence to those families [which] had loved ones die during the hurricane.
“Please know that every effort is being made by [the] Royal Bahamas Police Force, along with our local and international law enforcement partners to bring relief and closure for everyone.
“May God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
Dorian, a Category 5 storm, made landfall in Abaco around midday on September 1.
The storm lingered over the two islands for almost 70 hours, destroying communities, business and public infrastructure to the tune of an estimated $7 billion.
Thousands have been displaced as a result of the storm.
Abaco resembles a war zone, while Grand Bahama is a far cry from any sense of normalcy.
During a press conference at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) this morning, Ferguson was asked for an update on the death toll, which the government has said will be “staggering”.
“It (the death toll count) stopped because there [was] no recovery, but I can give you a bit of information that things are looking more hopeful today as I’m getting information just before I came here that we may have seen some semblance of body remains. As they probe today, hopefully later this afternoon, we will be able to give you some confirmation on whatever that is.
Asked what percentage of the island authorities have covered as a part of the search and recovery effort, Ferguson pointed out that the island is vast. He said it will take time to complete the assessment of the island.