Effects of Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hurricane Dorian
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Dorian 2019-09-01 1601Z.png
Hurricane Dorian shortly before making landfall on the Abaco Islands
DurationSeptember 1–3, 2019
Winds1-minute sustained: 185 mph (295 km/h)
Pressure910 mbar (hPa); 26.87 inHg
Fatalities≥74; 282 missing
Damage$3.4 billion (2019 USD)
Areas affectedNorthwestern Bahamas, mainly the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island
Part of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season
History  • Meteorological history

Effects  • Caribbean  • The Bahamas  • The Carolinas  • Alabama controversy
Other wikis  • Commons: Dorian images

The effects of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019 were among the worst experienced for any natural disaster in the country. Hurricane Dorian struck the Abaco Islands as a Category 5 hurricane on September 1, and a day later hit Grand Bahama Island at the same category. The hurricane then stalled over Grand Bahama for another day, finally pulling away from the island on September 3. Damage amounted to US$3.4 billion, and there were at least 74 deaths in the country.[1] Another 282 people were left missing after the hurricane.

Preparations[edit]

Marsh Airport on Great Abaco Island completely destroyed following Hurricane Dorian.

As early as August 26, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned for the potential of then–Tropical Storm Dorian to affect the Bahamas within five days, noting uncertainty due to potential interaction with Hispaniola.[2] By August 28, the NHC was forecasting for Dorian to pass near the northern Bahamas as a major hurricane.[3] On August 30, the government of the Bahamas issued a hurricane watch, and later that day a hurricane warning, for the northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence. A hurricane watch was also issued for Andros Island. The advisory meant that hurricane conditions were likely within 48 hours.[4][5] The warnings were downgraded after Dorian moved away from the country on September 3.[6]

Forced evacuations were issued for the Abacos and Grand Bahama on August 31 as Dorian intensified while tracking towards the Bahamas. In low-lying cays, government officials went from door to door urging residents to move inland.[7] Skiffs rented by the Bahamian government shuttled residents of outlying fishing communities to McLean's Town in Grand Bahama. Most major resorts were forced to close.[8] Nine hurricane shelters were opened on Grand Bahama and 15 shelters were opened on the Abacos.[7] Some chose to shelter at resorts instead, despite warnings by government officials that the buildings were unsafe. Prime Minister of the Bahamas Hubert Minnis warned people to "not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane", later adding that those that did not evacuate "are placing themselves in extreme danger and can expect a catastrophic consequence". Airports in the Abacos, Grand Bahama, and Bimini were closed by September 1. Government workers were ordered to stay indoors once winds outside reached tropical storm-force.[9][10]

Impact[edit]

Hurricane Dorian's destruction in the Bahamas

On September 1, the eye of Hurricane Dorian made landfall on the Abaco Islands with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (295 km/h),[11] making it the strongest hurricane on record to affect the Bahamas.[12] On September 2, the eye of Dorian moved over the eastern end of Grand Bahama Island, and drifted across the island.[13][14] Bahamian Minister of Agriculture Michael Pintard reported an estimated storm tide of 20 to 25 ft (6.1 to 7.6 m) at his home on Grand Bahama.[15] Dorian also dropped an estimated 3.0 ft (0.91 m) of rain over the Bahamas.[16]

Hurricane Dorian killed at least 70 people in the Bahamas – 60 on Abaco and 10 on Grand Bahama.[17] One of the fatalities was classified as indirect.[18] Damage amounted to US$3.4 billion.[19] Insured losses alone were confirmed to be at least US$1 billion.[20] Across the Bahamas, the storm left at least 70,000 people homeless.[21] An estimated 13,000 homes, constituting 45% of the homes on the Abacos and Grand Bahama, suffered severe damage or were completely destroyed.[22]

Abaco Islands[edit]

Hope Town on September 5

Hurricane Dorian knocked out the power, water, telecommunications, and sewage service on the Abacos.[23] For several days, Marsh Harbour Airport on Great Abaco was underwater, and the control tower was damaged by the waters.[24] The airport was closed on September 4.[25] About 90% of the infrastructure in Marsh Harbour was damaged.[26] The shantytowns of Marsh Harbour, housing mostly poor Haitian immigrants, were completely destroyed.[27] In central and northern Abaco, Dorian severely damaged roadways,[24] as well as thousands of houses,[26] with 60% of homes in northern Abaco damaged or destroyed.[28] The power grid serving the entirety of the Abacos was destroyed. The terminal building of Treasure Cay Airport suffered significant damage.[29]

Grand Bahama[edit]

There was an island-wide power outage on Grand Bahama Island,[24] and an oil refinery was damaged.[23] About 300 homes on the island were destroyed or severely damaged,[26] with the heaviest damage on the eastern side of the island.[23] At least 60% of Grand Bahama Island was left submerged as Dorian moved away on September 3.[30] Grand Bahama International Airport went underwater by 07:00 UTC September 2,[31] with water levels reaching 6 ft (2 m).[22] Strong winds at the airport severely damaged buildings and aircraft, leaving debris strewn across the airport and surrounding roads.[30] Floodwaters and sewage contaminated Rand Memorial Hospital.[32] The operating room, intensive care unit, and the wards were rendered unusable after being tainted by sewage, while mold outbreaks after the floodwaters receded forced more parts of the hospital to be evacuated.[33] The two main supermarkets in Freeport, as well as their warehouses, were inundated by storm surge.[34]

Elsewhere[edit]

At 11:24 UTC on September 2, 2019, total power was lost on the island of New Providence.[35] The following day, by 1:50 (UTC), 40% of power had been restored.[36]

Aftermath[edit]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents deliver relief supplies to the Bahamas

The National Emergency Management Agency of the Bahamas (NEMA) handled the response to the hurricane, working with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.[23] In the days after Dorian affected the Bahamas, officials surveyed the damage by air.[24] Residents in the Abacos and Grand Bahama suffered from water shortages, power outages, and a lack of telecommunications; these conditions created difficulty in handling the logistics of the disaster.[26][24] After the storm, at least 2,000 people stayed in government shelters.[24] Thousands of people left Abaco and Grand Bahama in the days after the storm,[26] with the Department of Rehabilitative Welfare Services in New Providence recording 6,854 evacuees entering Nassau by air from September 5–13.[37] Several cruise companies redirected their ships to bring aid and transport passengers off the affected islands.[38][39] Bahamasair offered free flights out of Abaco and Grand Bahama beginning September 5, though some passengers said they still had to pay.[40] The Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Royal Bahamas Police Force were deployed to Grand Bahama and Abaco via boat.[25] Widespread looting, however, still occurred in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.[40]

On September 5, the Central Emergency Response Fund of the United Nations provided US$1 million for initial emergency aid. The World Food Programme sent a team of 15 experts to coordinate emergency operations. The agency also provided power generators and 14,700 ready-to-eat meals.[26] The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility paid the Bahamas about US$10.9 million on September 6, due to the country's insurance policy being activated.[41] Télécoms Sans Frontières was the first non-governmental organization (NGO) on Abaco, which worked to re-establish satellite connection.[42] The Pan American Health Organization sent a team of doctors, nurses, and 34 tons of medical equipment for a three-month stay in the country.[43] On September 8, the Pan American Health Organization launched a $3.5 million appeal to cover health care related needs in the country.[44] The International Organization for Migration provided 1,000 tarpaulins to the country.[21] Team Rubicon Canada disaster response volunteers arrived on Grand Bahama and Great Abaco Islands on Sept 17 and joined teams from the US and UK in providing disaster response. The majority of the Team Rubicon Canada efforts were centered on clearing debris at key facilities and structures in Marsh Harbour. [45]

The United Kingdom pledged £1.5 million to support the RFA Mounts Bay, which delivered emergency supplies and a helicopter.[46] The government of the British Virgin Islands pledged US$100,000 to the Bahamas.[47] The United States provided four helicopters to assist in search and rescue operations,[25] while their Coast Guard also helped to rescue residents trapped by floodwaters.[48] The Netherlands announced on September 5 that they would send two naval ships with supplies from nearby Sint Maarten.[49] On September 6, Canada sent a CC-130J Hercules aircraft to Nassau, joining the Jamaican Defence Force's Disaster Assistance Response Team. Canada also pledged C$500,000 in humanitarian aid.[50] Meanwhile, Canadian-based charity GlobalMedic sent in volunteers carrying water purification units and emergency hygiene kits.[51] Japan provided tents and blankets through their Japan International Cooperation Agency.[52] India announced it would send US$1 million in aid on September 8,[53] while South Korea sent US$200,000 in humanitarian assistance the next day.[54]

On September 11, NEMA reported that 2,500 people were still missing;[55] this figure was revised down to 1,300 the next day.[56] Recovery efforts were hampered slightly on September 13–14 as Tropical Storm Humberto passed within 30 mi (45 km) east of the Abaco Islands, requiring the issuance of tropical storm warnings for the northwestern Bahamas. Impacts were minimal, however, as the strongest winds and rain were on the eastern flank of Humberto and thus stayed away from the Bahamas.[57][58] As of September 15, about 2,100 people remained in 20 shelters across New Providence, Grand Bahama, and Abaco.[59]

The Ministry for Disaster Preparedness, Management, and Reconstruction in Nassau received $3.6 million dollars-worth of modular shelters, medical evacuation boats, and construction materials from the United States embassy in Nassau. This donation was an addition to what was nearly $38 million in assistance from the United States to disaster recovery in The Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian.[60]

Death toll and search for survivors[edit]

As of December 22, 2019, the known death toll is 70, with officials indicating the true toll may be more than 600.[17][61] The lead physician for northern Abaco, Latoya Munroe, stated the official death toll excludes undocumented Haitian immigrants living in the Mudd and surrounding areas and reported seeing 80–100 bodies herself.[62][63] The number of missing persons fell from 1300 the third week of September to under 300 in October, when it was last updated.[64][17] Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson stated that the final toll from the hurricane will likely never be known, although when the National Hurricane Center's final report was released, estimates of between 200 and 300 were given.[64][65] Fifty-five unidentified bodies were buried in on May 22 after being in a refrigeration trailer since the hurricane. In a statement on June 9, 2020, former Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands raised concerns over the handling of the missing persons list. According to him, thousands of names were removed without reason after the Royal Bahamas Police Force took over.[66]

Within a week of the hurricane's impact U.S. and Canadian urban search and rescue teams were deployed across Abaco and Grand Bahamas.[67] Morgues in Abaco and Nassau reached capacity within a week of the hurricane, necessitating the use of refrigerated shipping containers. Bahamian officials advised rescuers to mark corpses' locations rather than collect them, which was also necessary for canine teams unable to confirm finds obscured under debris.[63] Corpses remained buried under debris for nearly three weeks after the hurricane, with decomposition leading to reports of overwhelming miasma in many communities.[68]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article243472646.html
  2. ^ Stewart, Stacy (26 August 2019). Tropical Storm Dorian Discussion Number 9 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ Avila, Lixion (28 August 2019). Tropical Storm Dorian Discussion Number 17 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  4. ^ Berg, Robbie (30 August 2019). Hurricane Dorian Advisory Number 24 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  5. ^ Avila, Lixion (30 August 2019). Hurricane Dorian Advisory Number 26 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  6. ^ Brown, Daniel (3 September 2019). Hurricane Dorian Advisory Number 41A (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b Ward, Jasper; Faiola, Anthony (31 August 2019). "Bahamians prepare for Dorian; some evacuate ahead of hurricane's arrival". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Evacuations Begin In The Bahamas Ahead Of Hurricane Dorian". WFOR-TV. Associated Press. 31 August 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  9. ^ Golembo, Max; Shapiro, Emily; Peck, Dan (31 August 2019). "Hurricane Dorian shifts course, now expected to hit Georgia and Carolinas". ABC News. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  10. ^ "'Abaco is going to get wiped': Bahamas hit by historic Hurricane Dorian". The Guardian. Associated Press. 1 September 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  11. ^ Avila, Lixion (1 September 2019). Hurricane Dorian Advisory Number 33A (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  12. ^ Avila, Lixion (1 September 2019). Hurricane Dorian Discussion Number 33 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  13. ^ Cangialosi, John (2 September 2019). Hurricane Dorian Discussion Number 35 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  14. ^ Jones Jr., Royston (20 November 2019). Dorian death toll increases to 69 (Report). Eyewitness News. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  15. ^ Gianluca Mezzofiore (September 2, 2019). "Footage shows extensive flooding this house in the Bahamas". CNN. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  16. ^ Jenner, Lynn. "Sep. 04, 2019 – NASA Estimates Hurricane Dorian's Massive Bahama Rainfall Totals". NASA Blogs. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Rolle, Leandra (29 November 2019). "Body Found In Abaco Brings Dorian Death Toll To 70". The Tribune. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  18. ^ Russell, Khrisna (20 September 2019). "Updated: Death Toll Reaches 52". The Tribune. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Hurricane Dorian Responsible for $3.4 Billion in Losses on Bahamas, Report Says". The Weather Channel. Associated Press. November 15, 2019. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
  20. ^ Hartnell, Neil (1 November 2019). "Insurers Suffer 'Over $1bn' Dorian Losses". The Tribune. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  21. ^ a b IOM to provide temporary roofing solutions for houses affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. International Organization for Migration (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  22. ^ a b "Bahamas reports 'total devastation' in wake of Hurricane Dorian". Al Jazeera. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  23. ^ a b c d Bahamas: Hurricane Dorian Situation Report No. 01 (as of 7 September 2019). UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Report). 7 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  24. ^ a b c d e f Hurricane Dorian - Bahamas: Humanitarian Situation Report No.1. UNICEF (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  25. ^ a b c OCHA - Airport Situation Report Dorian - Bahamas #04, 6 September 2019 (PDF). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d e f Hurricane Dorian: WFP Support to the NEMA/CDEMA-led humanitarian response in the Bahamas Situation Report #02, 06 September 2019. World Food Programme (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  27. ^ Semple, Kirk (8 September 2019). "Corpses Strewn, People Missing a Week After Dorian Hit the Bahamas". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  28. ^ USA, The Bahamas - Tropical Cyclone DORIAN update (GDACS, NOAA, USAID, IFRC, media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 06 September 2019). European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  29. ^ Hughes, Trevor; Hauck, Grace (7 September 2019). "'Paradise has been turned to hell': Residents, aid workers in Bahamas deal with Dorian devastation". USA Today. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
  30. ^ a b Slotnick, David (5 September 2019). "Photos show the mangled airplanes and buildings at Grand Bahama airport that Hurricane Dorian left behind". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  31. ^ "Hurricane Updates: Dorian Over Grand Bahama After Devastating Abaco". The Tribune. September 2, 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  32. ^ Natural Disasters Monitoring - September 5, 2019. ReliefWeb (Report). Pan American Health Organization. 5 September 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  33. ^ Maycock, Denise (8 October 2019). "Workers Call For New Public Hospital In Grand Bahama". The Tribune. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  34. ^ Semple, Kirk; Robles, Frances; Knowles, Rachel; Malkin, Elizabeth (4 September 2019). "Bahamas Stunned as Hurricane Recedes: 'It's Like a Bomb Went Off'". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  35. ^ "New Providence: Island-wide blackout after reports of hurricane warning being lifted". Devdiscourse. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  36. ^ "Hurricane Dorian Updates: Five Deaths Confirmed In Abaco". The Tribune. September 2, 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  37. ^ "Nearly 7,000 Displaced Abaconians Registered In New Providence; Evacuees not Registered Advised To Do So". The Eleutheran Newspaper. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  38. ^ Cranley, Ellen (7 September 2019). "A cruise ship sailed 1,500 Hurricane Dorian evacuees from the Bahamas to Florida". Insider. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  39. ^ "Cruise companies pledge aid after Dorian wreaks havoc on Bahamas". Channel NewsAsia. 5 September 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  40. ^ a b Brown, Nick; Fagenson, Zachary (6 September 2019). "Thousands try to flee hurricane-devastated Bahamas islands". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  41. ^ The Bahamas' Insurance Policy with CCRIF Triggers following Hurricane Dorian. Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  42. ^ TSF arrival in Abaco: 1st international NGO operating on the devastated island. Télécoms Sans Frontières (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  43. ^ PAHO Supports Bahamas Response with Emergency Medical Teams. Pan American Health Organization (Report). 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  44. ^ https://reliefweb.int/report/bahamas/paho-issues-35-million-donor-appeal-humanitarian-health-response-bahamas
  45. ^ Canada, P. M. N. (2019-11-22). "Canadian volunteers helping with Dorian recovery efforts in the Bahamas | National Post". Retrieved 2020-01-14.
  46. ^ "UK to allocate £1.5 million to help hurricane-hit Bahamas". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  47. ^ "Message by the Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie on supporting the Bahamas' hurricane Dorian recovery". Government of the British Virgin Islands. 6 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  48. ^ "Hurricane Dorian: Who is helping in the relief effort?". British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 September 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  49. ^ Carrer, Dante (5 September 2019). "Bahamas hurricane survivors tell of children swept away; death toll reaches 30". Reuters. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  50. ^ Canada provides additional emergency support to The Bahamas. Government of Canada (Report). 7 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  51. ^ Delitala, Albert (4 September 2019). "Toronto-based charity arrives in Bahamas to provide help after Hurricane Dorian". Global News. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  52. ^ Emergency Assistance in response to Hurricane "Dorian" disaster in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Government of Japan (Report). 5 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  53. ^ India extends disaster relief of $1 million aid to Bahamas. Government of India (Report). 8 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 9 September 2019.
  54. ^ ROK Government Decides to Extend 200,000 USD in Humanitarian Assistance to Hurricane-hit Bahamas. Government of the Republic of Korea (Report). 9 September 2019. ReliefWeb. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  55. ^ "Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas lists 2,500 people as missing". British Broadcasting Corporation. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  56. ^ Karimi, Faith; Thornton, Chandler (12 September 2019). "1,300 people are listed as missing nearly 2 weeks after Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas". CNN. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  57. ^ Knowles, Rachel; Semple, Kirk (13 September 2019). "Bahamas Is Spared as Tropical Storm Humberto Moves Away". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  58. ^ Barnett, Errol (14 September 2019). "Tropical storm warning lifted for weary Bahamas". CBS News. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  59. ^ The Bahamas -Tropical Cyclone DORIAN update (DG ECHO, UN OCHA, CDEMA, Reliefweb) (ECHO Daily Flash of 16 September 2019). European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (Report). 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  60. ^ "United States Donates $3.6M in Modular Shelters, Rescue Boats, and Construction Materials for Hurricane Response in The Bahamas". U.S. Embassy in Bahamas. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  61. ^ Sanders, Kerry; Silva, Daniella (22 December 2019). "Months after Hurricane Dorian, Abaco Islands still completely devastated". NBC News. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  62. ^ Sacks, Brianna (17 September 2019). "A Remote Bahamas Medical Clinic Lost Staff, Power, And Water. It Stayed Open Anyway". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  63. ^ a b Brianna Sacks (15 September 2019). "The Grim, Exhausting Task Of Finding Those Killed By Hurricane Dorian Takes Its Toll". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  64. ^ a b Ava Turnquest (12 September 2019). "Missing List Falls To 1,300". The Tribune. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  65. ^ Norcross, Bryan (2 May 2020). "New Hurricane Dorian report details forecast challenges, successes". WPLG Local 10. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  66. ^ Jacqueline Charles (June 12, 2020). "Bahamas has no idea of Dorian death toll after names of the missing were removed from list". Miami Herald. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  67. ^ Gamble, Kenny (6 September 2019). "Fairfax County's Urban Search and Rescue team arrives in the Bahamas". WUSA. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  68. ^ Dominika Lirette (17 September 2019). "'Total destruction': B.C. firefighter describes challenging search for hurricane survivors in Bahamas". cbc.ca. Retrieved 22 September 2019.

External links[edit]