Hurricane Dorian Death Toll Rises in Bahamas, Chances of Finding More People Dead 'Are Real'

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Tuesday night there are now seven confirmed deaths from Hurricane Dorian in his country, and that number is expected to rise as the storm moves from the islands and recovery efforts begin.

Dr. Minnis on Monday said there had been five deaths, and the announcement at a Tuesday evening news conference revealed that two patients in critical condition succumbed to their injuries, according to the Miami Herald. The Weather Channel Tuesday night reported there had been a total of 11 deaths, but not necessarily all from the Bahamas.

Marvin Dames, the minister of national security in the Bahamas, told the Nassau Guardian more bodies will be found once water recedes.

"We're at the beginning of this," Dames said. "This is a very unfortunate occurrence for us. Maybe the worst that we've experienced, certainly in our lifetime."

Dames went on to tell reporters that residents of the islands — and those who have family that live there — might get heartbreaking news once the waters recede and recovery begins. Dames also added that some of the deaths include children.

"I caution Bahamians everywhere that chances that we find more persons dead, those chances are real," Dames said. "It's certainly a concern for us. This was a crisis of epic proportions. We want to be responsible; we want to be caring.

"As we report these things we're taking into account the sensitivity around this...The reality of it all is, unfortunately, we will see more deaths. I can't see any way out of it."

Hurricane Dorian Injuries
First responders escort an injured person from Hurricane Dorian devastated Abaco Island at the Odyssey Avaiation after US CoastGuard evacuated people from Island on September 3, 2019. The massive, slow-moving hurricane which devastated parts of the Bahamas with 110 mph winds and heavy rains is expected to now head northwest and travel parallel to Florida’s eastern coast, according to the National Weather Service. Photo by Jose Jimenez/Getty Images

The prime minister was part of an air reconnaissance mission Tuesday over the Abaco Islands to assess Dorian's damage from above, and he said at least 60 percent of homes on Marsh Harbour were completely destroyed, and that water had overrun so much of Abaco that much of it looked like a giant lake instead of roadways.

"We are in the midst of one of the greatest natural crises in our country's history," Minnis said.

A video from Live Storms Media shows an aerial view of Dorian's damage and destruction on Grand Abaco, Bahamas:

Minnis said Tuesday night he expects the nation's death toll to continue rising as water recedes, weather clears and recovery begins.

Getting help in the recovery efforts means draining roads and air strips, and awaiting volunteers from other islands, as well as the United States. Part of getting things functional on the Abaco Islands mean dealing with the runway at Marsh Harbour, which is completely underwater. Additionally, the tower and radar are both inoperable after the Category 5 storm with winds up to 200 mph ravaged the islands.

"Parts of Abaco are decimated. There's severe flooding. There is severe damage to homes, businesses, other buildings and infrastructure," said Minnis, who said his country went through "hours and days of horror."

Dr. Duane Sands, the Bahamas' minister of health, told the Miami Herald that 29 people had already been rescued, with many of them getting flown by the U.S. Coast Guard from Abaco. A Coast Guard spokesperson said they will be there until not needed.

Hurricane Dorian Death Toll Rises in Bahamas, Chances of Finding More People Dead 'Are Real' | World