More than a week after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, thousands of people are without shelter and food, 2,500 are still missing, and Bahamas prime minister says he expects the death toll of 50 to “significantly increase.”
Some 15,000 people are still in need of shelter or food, according to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.
Officials also note that the list of 2,500 missing hasn’t been checked against records of evacuees or the thousands of people staying in shelters, making it difficult to draw up casualty lists.
The official death toll stands at 50.
“The number of deaths is expected to significantly increase,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Wednesday night in a nationwide address, promising “timely information on the loss of life as it is available.”
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Thousands are scattered across the islands, with more than 5,000 people ending up on New Providence, the island where Nassau, the capital, is located. Authorities plan to put up tent cities in Nassau and as well as on Abaco, one of the hardest hit islands, where shelter for some 4,000 is planned.
Hurricane Dorian struck parts of the archipelago with 185 mph winds on Sept. 1, then settled in for almost two days of death and destruction before moving back into the Atlantic.
As the country tries to emerge from the devastating storm, limited commercial flights have resumed on Abaco, but the electrical infrastructure around Marsh Harbour, the island’s largest city, has been destroyed.
Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake establish One Bahamas Fund
In an effort to address both immediate and longterm needs, golfer Tiger Woods and singer and actor Justin Timberlake have helped establish the One Bahamas Fund. They have teamed up with Nexus Luxury Collection, Royal Bank of Canada and members of the Bahamas resort community of Albany to set up the fund.
Woods, Timberlake and Australian golfer Ernie Els are co-owners of Albany, a luxury, 600-acre resort founded on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas in 2010.
The pair pledged $6 million to match outside donations in an effort to raise a minimum of $12 million.
The fund is aimed at providing shelter, food and clothing in the short term, and help with design and development of infrastructure needs to communities and small businesses.
“It’s horrifying to see the videos and hear the stories about the effects of Hurricane Dorian,” said Woods, who called the need in the Bahamas “very real.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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