Hurricane relief and redevelopment coordinators have been appointed for Abaco and Grand Bahama, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis announced on Wednesday 11 September in a national update on Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. Mr. Jack Thompson and Mr. Algernon Cargill will lead the effort in Abaco. President of the Senate, Mrs. Kay Forbes Smith, will lead the effort in Grand Bahama.
Prime Minister Minnis said the appointment of the coordinators is part of the Government’s comprehensive response to Hurricane Dorian, which decimated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama. “Right after the all clear was given by the Met Department we began mobilizing our search, rescue and recovery efforts,” said the Prime Minister. “We deployed security, food, water and other resources as quickly as was possible, once the all clear was given, so that first responders were not put at risk.” The Government also asked the United States Coast Guard to immediately go into action, using their helicopters and other resources. “Our search, rescue and recovery efforts are one response with many parts,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
The Prime Minister reported that thousands of Abaco and Grand Bahama residents have already been evacuated, and the Government is aggressively working to set up and secure appropriate temporary housing and shelters on both islands for those who lost their homes.
Security personnel on the ground have stabilized the security situation on Abaco. There are a combined 900 Defence and Police Force officers on the ground in Grand Bahama and Abaco, including reservists.
The Government is also receiving assistance from CARICOM defence force officers, which when fully deployed will total approximately 220 security personnel from Jamaica and Trinidad. There is sufficient food on the ground in Abaco & Grand Bahama for those who need assistance. The Ministry of Education is preparing a comprehensive plan to relocate thousands of students to other schools.
“It is essential that we get students from affected areas back to school as quickly as possible,” said the Prime Minister. A field Hospital has been set up in Grand Bahama, with Abaco to follow, and a floating hospital has arrived in Grand Bahama. “These are all a part of the recovery effort,” said Prime Minister Minnis. The Prime Minister will provide regular updates on the Government’s response to Hurricane