No reports of lives lost in Abaco
ABACO, BAHAMAS — As Hurricane Dorian, a catastrophic Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of over 185 miles per hour wreaked havoc on the Abacos this afternoon, government officials said there have so far been no reports of loss of life as a result of the dangerous storm.
“There have so far been no reported deaths on the island of Abaco, which is currently being impacted by Hurricane Dorian, other than the recent fatality in Sandy Point, Abaco,” read a statement.
Around midnight, a red Honda Fit with three occupants collided with a champagne colored Nissan Cube, according to authorities.
The man driving the Nissan Cube died on scene.
The occupants of the Honda were taken to the Marsh Harbour Health Centre and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
According to the Department of Meteorology, as of 2 p.m. today, the eye of Dorian, which was described as extremely distinct, was over Marsh Harbour, Abaco.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis issued an evacuation order on Friday to residents in areas considered vulnerable.
He again urged residents on Saturday to leave their homes, insisting that the “dangerous and powerful” storm would cause life-threatening sea-surges.
Today, the prime minister noted that many people remained in their homes despite the extensive warning to evacuate.
He noted that the government will bring legislation to Parliament when it resumes to introduce mandatory evacuations.
“I can only say to them, that I hope this is not the last time they will hear my voice and may God be with them,” the prime minister said.
Conditions in Abaco deteriorated swiftly today.
Video recordings posted on social media, showed rising waters, flooded streets and homes, fallen trees, and stripped rooftops. The lashing winds damaged lamp poles.
In a Facebook posted, one woman pleaded her help as she and her four-month-old infant rode out the storm in their home.
“Please pray for us, please pray for us everyone; me and my baby, everyone who stayed in the apartment building, we’re stuck right here; please pray for us, please pray for us
“Pray for Abaco, please I am beggin ya’ll. My baby is only four-months-[old], please.”
However, those recordings ceased this afternoon as cell phone service to the island was lost.
The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) said just before 11 a.m. that landlines were down in Man ‘O’ War Cay, Moore’s Island, Winward Beach, Madiera Park, Morning Glory Circle Leisure Lee, Cedar Harbour, Mt. Hope and Fire Drive.
At the time, BTC said while landline service remained up in all other areas and mobile services had not been affected.
Rescue teams are expected to mobilize to the island on Wednesday, according to the prime minister.
More than 6,000 people residents in Abaco. It remains unclear how many people evacuated.