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Monday 21 October 2019
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[UPDATED] FROM TT WITH LOVE

Disaster relief for Bahamas

People sit under broken palm trees outside the Leonard M Thompson International Airport after the passing of Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, Bahamas, September 5. AP PHOTO
People sit under broken palm trees outside the Leonard M Thompson International Airport after the passing of Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, Bahamas, September 5. AP PHOTO

The Government will donate US$.5 million to the relief efforts for hurricane-stricken Bahamas.

It will also deploy 100 soldiers and seven T&TEC technicians to assist with maintaining order and the restoration of electricity.

The Prime Minister announced this during the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, yesterday.

Dr Rowley said the Government would also send more people to assist as the relief efforts continue.

“One thing we don’t want to do is to rush into this devastated area meaning well but becoming a problem ourselves.”

Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm, lasted over the Bahamas for three days starting September 1.

It destroyed homes, airports, ports and infrastructure on Grand Bahama and Abaco.

News reports count 20 deaths up to yesterday evening and residents fear more are dead.

On Wednesday, search and rescue attempts began on the two islands and Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar told media there was no infrastructure, no lights, no water, and no airport.

Yesterday, Rowley described the situation as a sad time for the Caribbean.

He said the Bahamas "will take a generation to get over what happened in a 72 hour period.

“We must do what we are able to even if we have, in these moments, to deprive ourselves of something that we otherwise consume.”

Rowley said he had discussed the situation with prime minister of Bahamas, Hubert Minnis.

At the meeting today, Cabinet agreed that providing manpower was the best assistance for the island.

Government is working on measures to get the relief team from TT to the island after its ports were damaged in the storm.

The TT relief team is expected to remain on the island for some time working under the authority of the Bahamas government.

Rowley said the cash donation was for medical supplies.

"We, in TT, are making sure what we do is what we think is best under the circumstances. It’s to make our presence felt in a way to ensure the Bahamas gets notice and the kind of international assistance they deserve at this point in time. We trust that our prayers can be answered and the number (of deaths) be minimised."

TT's contribution is in line with the Caricom response to Bahamas.

As the country begins its long journey to recovery, other Caribbean islands have also reached out with a helping hand. These include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados and St Kitts-Nevis. Jamaica has also mobilised a disaster response team to assist in relief efforts.

In media reports, PM Minnis said the Bahamas was facing "one of the greatest national crises in our country's history" after houses were left submerged in water with their roofs ripped off.

Cars were also destroyed and debris scattered through the affected areas. Images emerging in international media show boats scattered among the debris and Grand Bahama reduced to rubble.

National Hurricane Center’s director Ken Graham, in a live social media video on Thursday evening, said marine conditions, in the Bahamas, are expected to improve on Friday so that relief efforts can be easier.

Graham also said the hurricane is moving 105 mph along South Carolina and North Carolina and portions of southwest Virginia. A hurricane warning is in effect for those states.

This story was originally published with the title "TT donates $.5m for Bahamas relief" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.


The Government will donate US$.5 million to the relief efforts for hurricane-stricken Bahamas.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced this during the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, Thursday afternoon.

He said the Government would also deploy 100 soldiers and seven T&TEC technicians to assist with maintaining order and the restoration of electricity.

Rowley described the situation as a sad time for the Caribbean, adding the Bahamas “will take a generation to recover from the destruction caused by Dorian, a Category 5 hurricane which ravaged the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama earlier this week."

The island recorded 20 deaths with many people injured and others reported missing.

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