After Dorian battered it for two days, the island of Grand Bahama is still struggling to recover after more than two-thirds of it were left under water.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” the prime minister of the Bahamas said — and it’s easy to understand why. The Category 5 hurricane struck with sustained 185 mile-per-hour winds, effectively camping over the Bahamas for two days. Seaports and airports were damaged or destroyed, making rescue efforts much more difficult. More than 13,000 houses were destroyed or heavily damaged, and the total number of fatalities is yet unknown.
The unprecedented destruction left a disaster in its wake — the scope of which is not yet entirely known. Images emerging from locals and journalists show a battered island, still trying to recover from the damage.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” said Prime Minister Hubert Minnis. “Our focus is search, rescue, and recovery. I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders.”
The fact that this storm became a category 5 hurricane (the strongest possible ranking and the strongest to ever hit the Bahamas) took everyone by surprise. Older neighborhoods were destroyed, as were most of the coastal buildings.
The US Coast Guard is responding to the disaster, and relief agencies like the Red Cross are also working to help. However, since the main airport in Freeport, has been all but destroyed, bringing aid to the island will be much more difficult. There are reports that some cruise companies are also jumping in to help, but it will take a while before all the damage is assessed, and even more before the island is rebuilt.