- Title: 'Everything is just gone': Devastation far and wide on Abaco
- Date: 6th September 2019
- Summary: ABACO ISLANDS, THE BAHAMAS (SEPTEMBER 6, 2019) (REUTERS) RUBBLE OF DESTROYED BUILDINGS VARIOUS OF CARS, BROKEN TREES ZOOM OUT OF BROKEN WINDSHIELD ON TRUCK RUBBLE OF DESTROYED BUILDINGS BROKEN FURNITURE AMID RUBBLE GENERAL VIEW OF RUBBLE OF DESTROYED BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HURRICANE SURVIVOR, RAVONNE HEPBURN, SAYING: "Well that morning, we were watching the seas come up to our door. We stand on the carpet, tried to get to higher ground. The seas just keep coming. The tide carry all our clothes, my whole house - I'm a single mother of three (UNINTELLIGIBLE) My house gone, my car gone. I don't have anything. Everything just gone. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)." MAN LOOKING AT RUBBLE CARS AMID BROKEN TREES GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT DESTROYED AIRPORT MAN DRINKING WATER AMID RUBBLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN SITTING ON RUBBLE CHILD SLEEPING IN MOTHER'S LAP GENERAL VIEW OF WOMEN SITTING TOGETHER, MOTHER HOLDING SLEEPING CHILD (SOUNDBITE) (English) HURRICANE SURVIVOR, SYLVIE MCCARTY, SAYING: "The hurricane has completely devastated us. This is the first time in my history I've ever seen a Cat 5 plus hurricane. And I've lived in many islands. I mean, it's total destruction. There's only about - in Treasure Key there's only about five inhabitable buildings and three of those buildings belong to our project. We have taken in everyone that we can but we've run out of space. And our Bahamas government - I understand that help is on the way but there's red tape that stopping the planes from getting here to bring us supplies. I mean water is a precious commodity now. I mean more precious than diamonds. I mean there's no food here. There're no - I was giving away all of my son's clothing to people. I mean I have - there's so many Haitian nationals here, they've just taken over. They're looting homes. All of the homeowners houses. And we Bahamians, we have no help. And we just found out Bahamas Air is coming but we have to pay. There's no ATM, no AlanLock, no MoneyGrab so we're unable to actually pay to get on the flight. We need assistance because there are so many Bahamians stranded here. I just - I've never seen anything like this in my life." BUILDING WITH DESTROYED ROOF DESTROYED PICK UP TRUCK DESTROYED BUILDING SIGN READING "ABACO DRY CLEANERS" DESTROYED BUILDING AND RUBBLE RUBBLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) HURRICANE SURVIVOR, LINDA LEFFLER, SAYING: "It sounded like a freight train coming into our home. Water was coming into our house. I think our house was the only one standing on Pelican Shores. When we came out during the eye, I couldn't believe my eyes that basically all the homes around me were gone, washed through or flattened. It was horrific." PEOPLE SITTING IN A ROW DOGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) HURRICANE SURVIVOR, LINDA LEFFLER, SAYING: "No safety at all. I saw there's a lot of looting going on. I've heard people are walking around with guns, breaking into people's homes that still have homes. That's why we're leaving. And there's no force. There's nothing going on. They should have had this all done beforehand. They should have had it all in place and they didn't. And they don't. They still don't." GENERAL VIEW OF DOGS, PEOPLE AND RUBBLE GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT DESTROYED AIRPORT WOMAN SITTING WITH CHILD (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED HURRICANE SURVIVOR SAYING: "At first it was calm, but then (UNINTELLIGIBLE) It was bad. It wasn't good at all. It was scary. And I don't think anybody else would want to go what we've been through and the island's finished. It's finished." DAMAGED CARS DESTROYED BUILDING MAN STANDING OUTSIDE OF DESTROYED BUILDING FALLEN UTILITY POLE DESTROYED BUILDING CAR DRIVING BY DESTROYED BUILDING DESTROYED ROOF (SOUNDBITE) (English) HURRICANE SURVIVOR, FRANKLIN THOMPSON, SAYING: "We got caught in our apartment. It was too late to get out. So we took refuge in the closet. And me and him sat and watched - my autistic son - we watched the hurricane take our roof off. In case anything happens, he's safe." SOLDIERS UNLOADING WATER ARMED SOLDIER PEOPLE MOVING PALLET OF WATER PEOPLE CARRYING WATER GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE GATHERED AT AIRPORT PEOPLE LOADING SUPPLIES INTO CAR MAN HOLDING CHILD ON SHOULDER DESTROYED BUILDING PEOPLE SITTING CAR DRIVING DOWN TREE-LITTERED ROAD FALLEN UTILITY POLE PEOPLE STANDING AROUND LUGGAGE PEOPLE SITTING AROUND WITH DOG (SOUNDBITE) (English) HURRICANE SURVIVOR, KINDLE STRICKLAND, SAYING: "Well we're trying to get out of here. We've been stuck at Treasure Key since we brought our boat in I guess a week ago for the hurricane. So we stayed in the hotel condos there which were almost totally destroyed except for basically the bathrooms and the walls of the structure. The big glass sliding doors all got blown out. The front doors all got blown out. The ceilings came down. So there wasn't much left when we came back into our units after being in the bathroom for 18 hours overnight." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERED ON TARMAC PERSON DRAGGING A SUITCASE WOMAN WALKING WITH CANE PEOPLE BOARDING SMALL PLANE WOMAN WITH DOGS PEOPLE SURROUNDING SMALL PLANE GENERAL VIEW OF PLANES / PEOPLE ON TARMAC
- Embargoed: 20th September 2019 17:59
- Keywords: Hurricane Dorian winds National Hurricane Center Bahamas
- Location: ABACO ISLANDS, THE BAHAMAS
- City: ABACO ISLANDS, THE BAHAMAS
- Country: Bahamas
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wind/Hurricane/Typhoons/Tornadoes
- Reuters ID: LVA001AVIU1C7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Rubble from destroyed buildings and trees littered Abaco Island on Friday (September 6) as hundreds of hurricane survivors gathered at the destroyed local airport waiting for relief supplies or flights off the island.
Dozens of residents recounted their stories of facing deadly Hurricane Dorian over the weekend.
Many said they'd lost everything and recalled moments of scrambling out of the path of vicious winds and rising water.
Some of the waiting masses were promised a departure on Bahamasair, others on relief flights from volunteer groups or charters. Some were simply at the airport without a plan, hoping to land a ride to Nassau or the United States, and still others were there seeking supplies.
The small airport in Treasure Cay, a sliver of land connected to Abaco known for its resort, is now in ruins, its buildings toppled, the forest behind it stripped naked so the trees look like used matchsticks.
Bottles, trash and dirty puddles span the lot by the runway. Splintered chunks of roof, sprawled across the lot like beached whales, became bleachers for tired survivors, heads covered in shirts, towels and hats to soothe the hours of merciless Caribbean sun.
As would-be evacuees clamored for answers from anyone who looked to be in charge, tensions mounted. Police, as well as officers from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, in camouflage and carrying weapons, kept the peace as locals argued over access to supplies coming in on relief flights.
Dorian, the most powerful hurricane on record to hit the Bahamas, swept through the islands earlier this week, leveling neighborhoods and knocking out key infrastructure. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people are still missing. The death toll, which currently stands at 30, is likely to shoot up.
(Production: Rodrigo Gutierrez, Aleksandra Michalska)
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