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Search for survivors continues in the Bahamas

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:33s - Published
Search for survivors continues in the Bahamas

Search for survivors continues in the Bahamas

Officials in the Bahamas say they have not given up on looking for survivors of Hurricane Dorian.

The National Emergency Management Agency says it will focus on search and recovery of bodies before beginning the clean-up.

Meanwhile, thousands are leaving the hardest-hit areas in search of supplies, shelter and even jobs.

Eve Johnson reports.

It's been a week since one of the strongest Caribbean storms on record plowed into the Bahamas.

But officials say they have NOT given up the search for survivors of Hurricane Dorian and are doing a systematic sweep of hard-hit Great Abaco Island.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CARL SMITH, SPOKESPERSON FOR BAHAMAS NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY OFFICIALS (NEMA), SAYING: "The island has been put into a grid system and the recovery team will check each section for persons who are still alive, any bodies that need to be recovered and to check for hazardous material." The death toll stood at 43 over the weekend.

But that number is expected to soar.

Meanwhile, international aid is pouring in.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy are shipping in supplies and have rescued hundreds stranded in isolated areas The American Red Cross and USAID have committed millions of dollars in relief.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) USAID ADMINISTRATOR MARK GREEN, SAYING: "So there are parts of Abaco and the Bahamas that don't show a great deal of damage, and then there are clusters and communities that were devastated, almost as though nuclear bombs were dropped on them." Refugees are pouring into the capital Nassau reeling from personal loss and trauma.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) RESIDENT OF ABACO, VASHTI JOHNSON, NOW STAYING AT BRITISH COLONIAL HILTON NASSAU, SAYING: "There are many dead bodies.

The scent, the stench was already, the mold and the mildew was so high all I could do was just praying, 'please, god, don't let this get to my children's lungs, don't get it get into our lungs' because there was no place to go." Other refugees are heading as far afield as Florida.

Some are hoping to find shelter for their ageing parents or children before returning home to try and rebuild their shattered lives.




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