The death toll from devastating Hurricane Dorian will be ‘staggering’ with thousands still missing, officials have warned amid reports looters are ‘trying to shoot people’ in the scramble for food and water.
Up to 70,000 are in need of ‘life-saving assistance’ while Great Abaco is said to be virtually uninhabitable, with bodies piled up and witnesses say there is a ‘smell of death’ with corpses floating in the water.
While the official death toll stands at 30, that number is expected to rise and hundreds of body bags have been ordered along with extra freezers.
A massive international relief effort was ramped up today as survivors revealed horrifying details of the ‘apocalyptic’ aftermath of the 185mph, Category-5 storm which hit the islands five days ago.
One survivor, Alicia Cooke, broke down in tears as she revealed: ‘Everything is gone, people are starting to panic. Pillaging, looting, trying to shoot people for food and water. It’s just no way everyone’s going to get out.’
‘No homes. No banks. No gas stations. No hardware stores. Everything is gone,’ she added, as others said they feared the spread of disease.
Hundreds have gathered hoping to be evacuated today, but efforts have been complicated by flooded runways at Grand Bahama International Airport.
The British Government has pledged £1.5 million to help deliver aid, saying it is estimated that several hundred British nationals live in the worst affected areas of the Bahamas.
The Foreign Office said it is working to establish how badly they have been affected and deploying staff and members of the British Red Cross for ’emotional and practical support’.
A Royal Navy helicopter rescued three children, and a British person who was trapped beneath rubble for several days after the hurricane.
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