GENEVA: More than 76,000 people could be in need of food and other aid in the Bahamas after the Caribbean nation was ravaged by Hurricane Dorian, the UN’s World Food Programme said on Thursday, with eight tonnes of supplies ready to arrive.
Dorian was a Category 5 hurricane — the highest on the five-level wind scale — when it hit the northern Bahamas, leaving a trail of destruction and killing at least 20 people.
As an international rescue effort ramped up for thousands of victims of Dorian on the northern Bahamas islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco, residents of the Carolinas were preparing for the now Category 2 storm.
“WFP has purchased 8 tons of ready to eat meals and is arranging their transportation to the Bahamas to be distributed to the affected population,” said Herve Verhoosel, senior WFP spokesman.
“More than 76,000 people in the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands may require food and other assistance.”
He said results from an evaluation expected on Saturday would give a clearer picture of the island’s needs. Another 85 tonnes of emergency food should be delivered during the next three months.
WFP is organising an airlift from the UN hub in Panama of storage units, generators, and prefab offices for two logistics hubs to be established on the main islands.
Aerial footage has shown scenes of catastrophic damage in Abaco with hundreds of homes missing roofs, cars submerged or overturned, widespread flooding and boats reduced to matchwood.
The international airport in Freeport, the largest city on Grand Bahama island, was damaged and its runways unusable, complicating relief efforts.