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UPDATED: Unprecedented Devastation

Islands Of The Bahamas At War With Nature

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) is continuing to track the progress of the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian and notes that although the storm has been downgraded to a Category 3, it remains very dangerous.

While the eye of Hurricane Dorian is beginning to inch away from Grand Bahama Island toward the northwest, the southern eye wall of the storm continues to impact the island.

Hurricane conditions will continue in Grand Bahama Island through tonight (Tues., Sept. 3), with strong feeder bands impacting The Abacos. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 110 miles per hour with higher gusts. An incredibly dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal in parts of Grand Bahama Island. A hurricane warning remains in effect for Bimini and the Berry Islands.

The all clear has been issued for New Providence, which includes the capital of Nassau and neighbouring Paradise Island, as well as Eleuthera and Andros. Residents and visitors on New Providence should continue to exercise caution as flooding conditions and power outages have been reported.

Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas remain unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.

Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, said that: “Though Hurricane Dorian has weakened, it continues to cause destruction to Grand Bahama Island and has left a devastating impact on The Abacos,.”

Jibrilu continued: “Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Bahamians and residents in these two northern islands, especially those who have lost loved ones. We are overwhelmed by the amount of inquiries about relief efforts, and encourage everyone to go to www.bahamas.com/relief for verified ways to help.

The following is a status update on airports, hotels, airlines and cruise schedules at this time. This is not a comprehensive list and visitors are strongly advised to check directly with airlines, hotels and cruise lines regarding possible impacts to travel plans.

AIRPORTS

  • Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau remains open. There have been flight cancellations and travelers should contact their airlines directly for any schedule changes.
  • Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) is closed.
  • Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco is closed.

HOTELS

  • Hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island remain open.
  • Hotels in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island assisted in evacuation procedures prior to Hurricane Dorian’s arrival.
  • Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.

FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS

  • Nassau ports are open and operating on their normal schedule, although cruise line schedules may be altered.
  • Bahamas Ferries have cancelled all sailings until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.
  • Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration remains closed and has cancelled September 3 and September 5 sailings.
  • Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour is closed.

Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command centre in New Providence.

The Ministry continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms.

To track Hurricane Dorian, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

For information on Bahamas Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, please visit www.bahamas.com/relief.

REPORTED EARLIER 

The Islands of the Bahamas were reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian after the category 5 hurricane devastated Abaco and hammered Grand Bahama Island.

Bahamian Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert Minnis told the Nassau Guardian that: “The Bahamas is presently at war and being attacked by Hurricane Dorian. And yet, it has no weapon at its disposal to defend itself during such an assault by this enemy.”

The Nassau Guardian also reported that the Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been receiving a barrage of calls requesting immediate help from Grand Bahama residents who are trapped in their homes, but the agency’s rescue efforts have been hampered by the slow tracking of the storm which has been preventing authorities to respond to go out in response to those calls.

The agency, the Nassau Guardian reported, was advising people not to attempt to leave their homes and to move to the highest point in their houses.

In a statement issued today, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) expressed both regret and sadness over the loss of life and damage done to the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island by Dorian.

The CTO said: “In the wake of this monstrous storm, we have witnessed the pain of those who lost loved ones, the agony of so many who lost their homes and all their belongings, and the angst of an entire Caribbean concerned for the welfare of the people of these islands.”

But it added that: “We are confident that the people of the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, with the full support of the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean tourism family, will navigate the road to recovery together and emerge stronger.”

The Bahamas archipelago has over 700 islands and cays spread over 100,000 square miles, and the greatest impact of Dorian was being felt in the northernmost islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama, while most of the nation has been mostly unaffected.

Along with offering its full support to the Bahamas, the CTO said that it has “activated our Hurricane Relief Fund which has been established to help our people and countries rebuild after disasters.”

To donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto .

Check out the National Hurricane Center’s Twitter feed for the latest on Dorian at https://twitter.com/nhc_atlantic?lang=en .

Posted in Destinations, News, Tourism Organizations

 

 

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