By Nicholas Sakelaris
Sept. 3 (UPI) — Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said the country is in the midst of a “historic tragedy” after Hurricane Dorian battered the Atlantic islands for most of Monday and killed several people.
Minnis said his office in downtown Grand Bahama is flooded, as is the first floor of the hospital. So far, there have been five confirmed deaths from the storm, which battered the islands for most of Monday with 145 mph winds and only began moving away early Tuesday.
“Our focus is search, rescue and recovery,” the Bahamian leader said. “I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders. Many homes, business and other buildings have been completely or partially destroyed.”
More than 62,000 people in the island chain don’t have access to fresh, drinkable water, CBS News reported Tuesday.
Power was cut to the entire island of New Providence, the most populous island in the commonwealth, utility officials said.
“We are working through the aftermath of flooding on the island, and remained determined to safely and securely return the entire island to service,” Bahamas Power and Light said Monday night.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it’s conducting rescue missions on Abaco Island, where many Haitian migrants live. Four MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters transported 19 people from the Marsh Harbor clinic to Nassau International Airport Monday.
With the storm still lingering, officials said the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency may not be able to reach the island until Wednesday.