BAHAMA: Hurricane Dorian – Number of missing drops to 1,300
Emergency services in the Bahamas say the number of missing following Hurricane Dorian stands at 1,300.
The number is down from the 2,500 listed missing earlier this week.
The National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) said the drop in numbers came after cross-referencing names of the missing with those in shelters.
Hurricane Dorian battered the Bahamas earlier this month killing at least 50. The death toll is expected to rise as the clean-up operation continues.
Prime minister Hubert Minnis said in a televised address on Wednesday that the government was being transparent and would “provide timely information on the loss of life as it is available.”
Dorian was packing sustained winds of 185mph (295km/h) when it made landfall at Elbow Cay on the Abacos on 1 September.
It equalled the highest winds ever recorded for a hurricane at landfall when it struck the Abaco Islands.
Police commissioner Anthony Ferguson said that the search for the victims was a slow process.
“We have to go through all of that rubble, take our time and search. It’s going to take a long time before you can really say,” he said.
On Thursday the US announced $4 million (£3.2 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 Grand Bahama and Abaco, the worst hit islands.
More than 5,000 people have been evacuated from the two islands to New Providence, the island where the country’s capital Nassau is located.
According to Nema, the number of people seeking to leave Grand Bahama and Abaco has reduced considerably.
Some 15,000 people are still in need of shelter or food, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency says.
On Thursday, the Bahamas government issued a tropical storm warning.
According to the US National Hurricane Centre, the weather system was not expected to produce a significant storm surge in the northwest Bahamas; however, heavy rain could hamper rescue efforts.