Hurricane Dorian leaves widespread devastation across the Bahamas Islands

World Today

A boat thrown onshore by the Hurricane Dorian lays stranded next to a highway near Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday Sept. 3, 2019. Relief officials reported scenes of utter ruin in parts of the Bahamas and rushed to deal with an unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the most powerful storm on record ever to hit the islands. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Towns underwater; homes destroyed; lives turned upside down.

Hurricane Dorian pounded the Bahamas Islands, where seven people are confirmed dead.

The storm is now weaker but bigger and is forecast to hit more territory as it heads for the U.S. coast.

CGTN’s Nitza Soledad Perez reports from Florida.

Hurricane Dorian is one of the most powerful storms to ever make landfall in this portion of the Atlantic.

Bahamians are still grasping the devastation left behind by this monster hurricane. At its peak, it had sustained winds near 300 kilometers per hour, with even stronger gusts. The storm stalled over the Bahamas, lashing the islands for three days.

Tuesday morning, some residents were still leaving their homes, with floodwaters rising to chest-level.

The Prime Minister of the Bahamas confirmed fatalities and said the focus now is on recovery. He added, “We are in the midst of an historic tragedy in parts of the northern Bahamas. The initial reports from Abaco is the devastation is unprecedented and extensive. They are deeply worrying. The images and videos we are seeing are heartbreaking.”

The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama were among the islands hardest hit. According to Matthew Cochrane, a spokesman for Red Cross Red Crescent, “We believe that more than 13,000 houses have been severely damaged or destroyed, that’s about 45 per cent of all homes on the two islands.”

Hurricane Dorian has been downgraded to a Category Two storm. After days of uncertainty and forecasts indicating Florida would be next in line to suffer its fury, the storm started moving northwest on Tuesday, hugging close to the Florida coast, but reducing the possibility of a direct landfall here in the US.

There was a cautious sigh of relief among many Floridians. Resident Kathleen Collins said, “It’s very slow. I still think we have to keep our eye on it because you know they can wobble and turn.”

Feeling a bit safer and out of Dorian’s path, South Floridians are now staging a relief effort for the Bahamas. Melinda Hover says, “I really feel for the people there, it’s awful, if it was me, I’d be hoping people would do the same, and I actually wish I had more.”

An eyewitness account of Hurricane Dorian and its devastating aftermath

CGTN’s Mike Walter gets an eyewitness account from Bahamian resident Valentino Armal about the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.