As Hurricane Fiona threatened the southern Bahamas, government officials took the proactive move to evacuate the most vulnerable residents from the island of Mayaguana to Exuma. Twenty one people were evacuated along with Defence Force officers and supplies on a Bahamasair flight. Speaking on preparations for the storm, Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Chester Cooper said, “shelters have been opened and Bahamasair was able to take in some supplies this morning in addition to what they received yesterday by mailboat. So we are praying for the best from Fiona but we have prepared as best we can. All of the homes in Mayaguana have been visited by local government officials and all of the residents have been spoken with directly. So we are hopeful that everyone has prepared as best they could.”

Reports from the island of Mayaguana are that there is a shortage of plywood and a promised shipment from the National Emergency Management Agency [NEMA] is yet to arrive. On this Minister Cooper said, “the reality of the situation on the ground is that its a very remote island and any supplies like plywood etc. would have to go by mailboat sometime ago. I’ve heard the reports of requests or promises by NEMA to the residents, we’re looking into those reports.”

Also speaking to reporters was Minister Of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Myles Laroda who said, “as to lumber, I mean, the storm is supposed to be barreling down at eleven o clock so even if it had gotten there at 8:30 this morning it would be kind of tight to batten up but as those concerns are raised we hope and pray that its a brush. But if there is an opportunity or there is a situation where those supplies are needed the government would be prepared to deal with those needs.”