Speed Reads

Hurricane Dorian

Bahamas hurricane death toll rises to 30

Aid is slowly starting to make its way to people in the Bahamas who are still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian.

A Category 5 storm when it hit the Bahamas on Sunday, Dorian and its 185 mph winds caused total destruction in parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama islands. The Bahamian health ministry on Thursday said the death toll is now at 30, and is expected to climb significantly.

United Nations Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock said that there are 70,000 Bahamians "in immediate need of life-saving assistance." Small planes have been shuttling the sick and elderly off the islands, and the U.N. is sending eight tons of ready-to-eat meals. Food, bottled water, generators, diapers, flashlights, and other supplies have been dropped off by a British Royal Navy ship and a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, and the United States is sending troops from the Rhode Island National Guard to offer assistance.

The firm Karen Clark & Co. estimates total property losses, minus cars and infrastructure, could top $7 billion. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, and some residents say they still see bodies trapped in the debris. Grand Bahama and Abaco are home to many fishermen, laborers, and hotel workers, and Grand Bahama resident Gordon Higgs told The Associated Press they will all be "out of jobs for months. They'll be homeless, no food. Nothing."