A new storm carrying heavy rain and strong winds is threatening the Bahamas just two weeks after Hurricane Dorian tore through parts of the islands late on Friday.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, tropical storm Humberto is currently moving northwest towards Great Abaco island, one of the islands worst hit by Dorian.
Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on September 1 as a Category-5 storm — one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record to hit land — packing top sustained winds of 298 km/h. It killed 50 people and as the clean-up operation continues, the death toll is expected to rise.
About 1,300 people are missing in the Bahamas following the hurricane, while at least 15,000 are in need of shelter, food and medical care.
Hurricane Dorian devastated the northern Bahamas. Entire neighbourhoods were flattened, homes shredded, shipping containers and boats hurled inland. Some airports were submerged, while terminals were covered in debris.
Officials warned that flooding from the fresh storm could hamper their rescue and relief efforts.
Carl Smith, from the National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) said that the storm could hinder the ongoing search for missing people, as well as efforts to get essential supplies to Grand Bahama and Great Abaco – the worst-hit islands.
On Thursday, the US announced $4 million in new humanitarian assistance for the Bahamas. The US Agency for International Development said the money would go towards providing shelter, food, medicine and water to those on the two worst-hit islands.
More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from those islands to New Providence, where the country’s capital Nassau is located.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the hurricane-stricken Bahamas islands on Friday and said that natural disasters like these are becoming more intense and frequent due to the global climate crisis.
Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis earlier said, “We are in the midst of a historic tragedy … the devastation is unprecedented and extensive”.
“First, the worst impact is on countries with the lowest greenhouse emissions – The Bahamas are a very good example of that,” Guterres told journalists.
“Second, it is the poorest and most vulnerable people in those countries who suffer most, and again, the same has happened with the communities in The Bahamas.”
“And third, repeated storms trap countries in a cycle of disaster and debt,” he added.
(With Agencies inputs)