The death toll from devastating Hurricane Dorian will be ‘staggering’ with thousands still missing, officials have warned amid reports looters are ‘trying to shoot people’ in the scramble for food and water.
Up to 70,000 are in need of ‘life-saving assistance’ while Great Abaco is said to be virtually uninhabitable, with bodies piled up and witnesses say there is a ‘smell of death’ with corpses floating in the water.
While the official death toll stands at 30, that number is expected to rise today and hundreds of body bags have been ordered along with extra freezers.
A massive international relief effort was ramped up today as survivors revealed horrifying details of the ‘apocalyptic’ aftermath of the 185mph, Category-5 storm.
One of them, Alicia Cooke, broke down in tears as she revealed: ‘Everything is gone, people are starting to panic. Pillaging, looting, trying to shoot people for food and water. It’s just no way everyone’s going to get out.’
‘No homes. No banks. No gas stations. No hardware stores. Everything is gone,’ she added, as others said they feared the spread of disease.
Hundreds have gathered hoping to be evacuated today, but efforts have been complicated by flooded runways at Grand Bahama International Airport.
Addressing fears the death toll from the disaster will climb, Health Minister Duane Sands warned: ‘Let me say that I believe the number will be staggering.’
Some locals called the government’s initial official death toll a tragic underestimate.
‘You smell the decomposing bodies as you walk through Marsh Harbour,’ said Sandra Sweeting, 37, in an interview amid the wreckage on Great Abaco. ‘It’s everywhere. There are a lot of people who aren’t going to make it off this island.’
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