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Are People shooting each other for food and wate?': Bahamas Hurricane Dorian death toll will be 'staggering' with THOUSANDS still missing as bodies pile up and militias are formed to stop looting
The nephew of actor Sidney Poitier has said that more than 23 members of his family are feared missing in the aftermath of hurricane Dorian.
Jeffrey Poitier, 66, said that as of Thursday there was still no news from the relatives, including his sister Barbara and his adult children in Freeport, Bahamas.
Hurricane Dorian killed at least 46 people after it struck the Bahamas last Sunday as a Category 5 storm with winds as fast as 185mph.
Up to 70,000 people in the Bahamas are in need of 'life-saving assistance' while Great Abaco is said to be virtually uninhabitable, with bodies piled up and witnesses saying there is a 'smell of death' with corpses floating in the water.
Jeffrey Poitier, 66, said that as of Thursday there was still no news from the relatives, including his sister Barbara and his adult children in Freeport, Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian killed at least 46 people after it struck the Bahamas last Sunday as a Category 5 storm with winds as fast as 185mph
A woman walks through a destroyed neighbourhood in the wake of hurricane Dorian in Great Abaco, Bahamas
An aerial view of the damage caused by hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas
The image above shows the devastation left after the storm passed Abaco Island. 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
Damaged houses and debris is seen on devastated Great Abaco Island on Thursday, Hurricane Dorian hit the island chain as a category 5 storm battering them for two days before moving north. A massive international relief effort was ramped up today as survivors revealed horrifying details of the 'apocalyptic' aftermath of the 185mph, Category-5 storm.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Bahamas faces a humanitarian crisis with 70,000 needing 'life-saving assistance' and at least 20 dead
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.
Terrifying moment screaming group is swept away in raging Bahamas floodwaters as Hurricane Dorian pounds the Caribbean island
A massive international relief effort ramped up on Thursday as the extent of the damage wrought by Dorian comes into focus through satellite images and harrowing accounts from survivors.
The storm struck the island chain as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane on Sunday and stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama for the following two days as 185mph winds and torrential rains ravaged countless communities.
'All the main buildings, gone. It's gone. Everything is gone,' Robert Cornea, who has lived in Abaco for more than 50 years with his wife Phyllis, told CBS News.
The couple have been homeless since Sunday.
'Take a picture of me because it's all I have left, what you see me in,' Phyllis Cornea said from the wreckage of her home. 'I've been in this four days.'
On Wednesday United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said around 70,000 people 'are in immediate need of life-saving assistance', adding that the most urgent needs are water, food, shelter and accommodation.
'This is our Katrina moment,' Bahamian Health Minister Duane Sands said Thursday.
As the death toll rose to 23, Sands said the official count 'could be staggering'.
The Bahamas are facing a humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Dorian as at least 70,000 people are in need of 'life-saving assistance' and the death toll, which reached 23 on Thursday, is expected to climb. Catastrophic flooding in community of Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island is seen from above on Thursday
A massive international relief effort kicked off on Thursday as the extent of the damage wrought by Dorian comes into focus through satellite images, like the one above from Abaco
Dorian struck the island chain as a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday and stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama for the following two days as 185mph winds and torrential rains ravaged countless communities
On Wednesday United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said around 70,000 people 'are in immediate need of life-saving assistance', adding that the most urgent needs are water, food, shelter and accommodation
Aliana Alexis, of Haiti, stands on the concrete slab of what is left of her home after destruction from Hurricane Dorian in a shantytown called The Mudd at Marsh Harbour in Great Abaco Island on Thursday
Half of the homes on in the Bahamas were destroyed or severely damaged, racking up a total of $7billion in insured and uninsured property losses, according to a Thursday estimate from the catastrophe modelers Karen Clark & Co.
The Bahamian government sent hundreds of police and marines into the stricken islands, along with doctors, nurses and other health care workers.
The US Coast Guard, Britain's Royal Navy and relief organizations including the UN and the Red Cross joined the burgeoning effort to rush food and medicine to survivors and lift the most desperate people to safety by helicopter.
UN chief Lowcock said he told Prime Minister Hubert Minnis that he was releasing $1 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund immediately to deal with these priorities as well as for medical supplies and services for Grand Bahama.
He said the United Nations began gathering data Wednesday with officials in the region 'so we really understand where the most vulnerable people are and what their precise needs are.'
President Donald Trump has also offered his condolences and said the United States will provide all appropriate support to the people of the Bahamas during the Bahamian government's response to Hurricane Dorian.
Rescue workers recover the body of a victim of Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island, on Thursday
Steven Turnquest comforts his sons Leslie and Kile as they wait for assistance at the airport in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thursday
Residents wait for assistance at the airport in Nassau, Bahamas, on Thursday, after they were rescued from Abaco
Humanitarian and Disaster Relief troops from Britain are seen delivering water to Abaco on Thursday
Members of the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) team from RFA Mounts Bay provide assistance to the islanders
Boats are seen strewn across Marsh Harbour on Grand Abaco Island on Thursday
Several survivors have documented the destruction on social media as they wait for aid to arrive
An unknown number of people were trapped in their homes waiting for help as the storm passed and for days afterward.
'Ain't nobody come to get them,' Cardot Ked, a 43-year-old carpenter from Haiti who has lived 25 years in Abaco, told AP. 'If we could get to the next island, that's the best thing we can do.'
Sylvia Cottis, 89, was inside her home at an Abaco beach club when the winds blew out the supposedly hurricane-proof windows, turning the glass into razor-sharp shrapnel that opened a wide gash on her knee.
For the next five days, Cottis and her caretaker, 58-year-old Kathryn Cartwright, were trapped in the house waiting for help as conditions worsened.
Cottis spent the days sitting in her wheelchair and the nights sleeping in a metal lawn lounger, surrounded by wet belongings and sewage from a septic tank that overflowed with floodwater and swamped her house.
The two women heard helicopters overhead and cars driving past, but the weather and massive flooding prevented any assistance.
Cartwright stayed with Cottis despite being worried about her own son and daughter, whom and had not heard from since the storm hit.
'I can't leave her here too long,' Cartwright told AP in a tearful interview from the wrecked home.
Help finally came on Wednesday when her neighbor Ben Allen and his friend pried open the jammed front door with a screwdriver to check on Cottis and Cartwright.
By then, the gash on Cottis's leg had become infected and swollen.
Allen, a 40-year-old construction worker and maintenance man, loaded Cottis into his minivan and took her to get medical attention.
Sissel Mosvold, left, embraces a volunteer who helped rescue her mother from her home, flooded by the waters of Hurricane Dorian, in the outskirts of Freeport, Bahamas. Virginia Mosvold, right, is brought down from a truck by volunteers
A survivor walks through flooded land leaving behind abandoned cars in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island
The Bahamas' usual idyllic beach fronts and white painted buildings - like the hotel above - were devastated by the hurricane
A family, including four children, wait for relief supplies to arrive in Great Abaco as the Bahamas were battered by Dorian
People wait for relief supplies to arrive at Treasure Cay Airport following Hurricane Dorian
They watched in horror as the minivan sped past broken cell towers, snapped power lines, trees stripped of their leaves, 30- to 40-foot boats thrown on top of buildings and metal shutters ripped off their frames and hurled into stores.
'Abaco is no more,' Allen told AP. Exactly a week ago, it was 'the most beautiful place you wanted to be', he said.
During the ride, Cartwright pointed out businesses she knew and homes that once belonged to her friends. Then she fell silent. 'Oh, my father, look at everything.'
Cartwright, still preoccupied with her children, said: 'I just want to see my son tonight.'
At that moment, the van drove through a pool of water, and a car coming the opposite way slowed down on the two-lane road. All of a sudden, Cartwright screamed: 'That's my son! That's my son!'
She hustled out of the car and swept the 29-year-old marine welder and father of two into her arms as she cried. She had not known until that moment if he was alive.
Her son, Carlton Nixon, informed her that 'the babies are okay', but that his daughter needed to be taken off of Abaco.
As they hugged and talked, cars started piling up on both sides and drivers began to honk. Cartwright and her son made plans to see each other later and went their separate ways.
The beat-up van continued to Marsh Harbour Healthcare Center, where Cottis was taken in for treatment.
Several hundred people are now temporarily living at the center, the island's main hospital.
Small children played outside amid coils of downed power lines while homeless families rested on the hospital's lawn.
Inside, people crammed into the entrances, the hallways, the waiting room. Small children slept sprawled out on sheets and unfurled sleeping bags while toddlers in diapers stood in a portable playpen in the hospital's driveway.
Rihanna leads celebrities promising to help the Bahamas after devastating Hurricane Dorian as 'heartbroken' singer reveals her charity is 'already figuring out how best we can help'
Hurricane Dorian causes 'extreme destruction' in the Bahamas, leaving at least five people dead and 'bodies floating' in floods as second strongest storm in HISTORY crawls across the islands
A 'heartbroken' Rihanna has pledged to help the Bahamas after the country suffered 'catastrophic damage' from Hurricane Dorian.
The 31-year-old promised that the charity she founded in 2012 was 'already figuring out how best we can help' after the Category 5 storm battered the islands for more than 40 hours.
'It truly breaks my heart to see the complete devastation that Hurricane Dorian is having on the Bahamas,' she said.
'You are in our prayers,' she added.
Initial estimates say that some 13,000 homes have been destroyed by Dorian, which hit the Bahamas on Sunday, with at least five people killed.
Rihanna was one of several celebrities including Dan Rather and Reese Witherspoon to offer their condolences to the stricken Caribbean nation.
The singer said her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, was 'already figuring out' how it can help the victims of the Category 5 storm
Initial estimates say that some 13,000 homes have been destroyed by Dorian, which hit the Bahamas on Sunday, with at least five people killed
Witherspoon called the damage 'beyond devastating' and said she was 'praying for my friends and families in Bahamas'.
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg also offered her sympathies, saying: 'Today our thoughts are with the people in the Bahamas. Stay safe.'
Celebrity chef Jose Andres is already in the Bahamas to help provide food for people affected by the storm.
He has also promised to assist coastal dwellers in the U.S. if Dorian does major damage there.
Rihanna, who is originally from Barbados, founded her charity in 2012 and has raised millions for education and emergency relief at charity galas.
Haiyan's winds reached speeds of 195mph, even greater than Dorian's, although Dorian was more powerful when it made landfall.
The foundation also helped the victims of Hurricane Maria, another Category 5 storm which ravaged Puerto Rico in 2017.
Rihanna (pictured in Los Angeles earlier this year) has vowed to help the Bahamas after the Caribbean islands were ravaged by Hurricane Dorian
The charity's name, the Clara Lionel Foundation, is a tribute to Rihanna's grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.
It also has a scholarship fund as well as an oncology and nuclear medicine center in Barbados, where Rihanna was born and raised.
Crawling over the Bahamas for more than a day, Dorian unleashed torrential rain and wind gusts of up to 225mph on the Abaco Islands and the island of Grand Bahama.
The Red Cross said the storm had caused 'catastrophic damage' and said volunteers in the Bahamas were already supplying hygiene items and phone chargers.
Two of the designated storm shelters flooded and many residents were left to their own devices as police chief Samuel Butler admitted: 'We simply cannot get to you'.
Bahamian officials said they received a 'tremendous' number of calls from people in flooded homes as wind and rain continued to pound the islands.
The hurricane is seen in a satellite image with the state of Florida marked. The storm has stalled over the Bahamas but is set to move towards the U.S. coast later today
One radio station said it received more than 2,000 distress messages, including reports of a five-month-old baby stranded on a roof.
A message from Kendra Williams, who lives on Grand Bahama, said: 'We are under water; we are up in the ceiling. Can someone please assist us or send some help. Please. Me and my six grandchildren and my son, we are in the ceiling.'
Some injured residents from a clinic on Great Abaco Island arrived in Nassau to receive medical treatment after being transported by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.
'We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,' Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. 'The devastation is unprecedented and extensive.'
Meanwhile evacuations are under way in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina where heavy rain and even possible tornadoes are predicted today.
The storm has weakened but is still a powerful Category 3 hurricane, and could cause highly dangerous storm surges on the U.S. coast even if it does not make landfall.
Disney World will close early today as Florida braces for impact amid fears that the storm could veer off course and hit the mainland.
Dorian takes aim at 4 STATES: Hurricane will be 'one of the biggest in decades' as millions in Florida, Georgia AND the Carolinas brace for monster storm that's set to be a CATEGORY 5
Hurricane Dorian is battering the northern Bahamas on Monday as a Category 4 with its strong 150mph winds and floodwaters that reached up to attics, sending locals scrambling to their rooftops for safety.
On Monday morning numerous casualties - including an eight-year-old boy - were reported on the Abaco Islands as the Bahamian government highlighted chilling reports of bodies floating in the wreckage, but an official number is yet to be released.
Local authorities inundated with distress calls urged trapped residents on the ravaged island to grab flotation devices or find hammers to smash their way onto their roofs to avoid the rising floods.
Dorian is continuing its path of destruction by swirling westwards at just 1mph and is expected to skirt along the Florida coast tonight, where storm surges and tropical storm force winds are already breaking through.
In the Bahamas, Dorian brought gusts of 225mph and up to 30 inches of rainfall on Sunday, wrecked 13,000 homes, tore down power lines and left Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport under five feet of water by Monday morning. Experts have also warned of a possible storm surge that could send destructive waves crashing into the coast.
Dorian is the second-strongest Atlantic storm on record, and the joint-strongest ever to make landfall, after it barreled into the Bahamas with wind speeds of 185mph on Sunday.
The storm weakened slightly today from a Category 5 to a Category 4 hurricane, the second-highest level, with sustained speeds of 155mph and gusts of 190mph by Monday afternoon. Through the afternoon, Dorian's destructive eyewall continued to lash the Grand Bahama island.
Dorian's current path is forecast to pound Grand Bahama through Monday evening before spiraling perilously close to the east coast of Florida late tonight through Wednesday evening, then it will move north to Georgia and the South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday, according to the NHC.
Strong winds from Hurricane Dorian pictured blowing the tops of trees and whisking the surface waters of a canal in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Labor Day Monday. Dorian will continue to batter the Bahamas today but will travel 'dangerously' close to Florida tonight before dancing up the southeastern U.S. coast
Minister of Agriculture and Marco City MP Michael Pintard shared this video showing the floodwaters of Hurricane Dorian rising against his door and inside his Grand Bahama home, despite it being 20 feet above ground, on Monday
Hurricane Dorian is set to strengthen to a Category 4 and batter Florida with 130MPH winds on Labor Day, as forecaster warns it could be one of the worst storms to hit the state in 30 years
States of emergencies have been declared in Georgia and the Carolinas as fears rise that Hurricane Dorian could make landfall there wreaking havoc across the region - while Florida braces itself to skirt the eye of the Category 4 storm.
Weather agencies warn the storm could reach category 5 by Labor Day, as the fearsome hurricane gains new muscle that will threaten Florida's peninsula with winds of up to 145 mph by late Monday or early Tuesday.
But the National Hurricane Center in Miami cautioned that its meteorologists remain uncertain whether Dorian would make a devastating direct strike on the state's east coast or inflict a glancing blow, as the consensus path now has the storm headed for landfall near the South Carolina and Georgia border, potentially just grazing Florida.
'Excellent news for Florida this Saturday morning. The official forecast from NHC and the latest model forecasts are pointing toward an offshore Florida track as dangerous Dorian approaches,' said WOFL-Fox 35 meteorologist Jayme King.
'We're not out of the woods by any stretch, this needs to be watched and all Central Floridians need to be on guard until the storm rides north of our location.'
President Trump tweeted: 'Looking like our great South Carolina could get hit MUCH harder than first thought. Georgia and North Carolina also. It’s moving around and very hard to predict, except that it is one of the biggest and strongest (and really wide) that we have seen in decades. Be safe!'
States of emergencies have been declared in Georgia and the Carolinas as fears rise that Hurricane Dorian could make landfall there wreaking havoc across the region - while Florida braces itself to skirt the eye of the Category 4 storm
Miami Beach public works department workers fill sandbags and help load them into residents'cars in Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach public works department workers fill sandbags and help load them into residents'cars in Miami Beach, Florida
There is nothing stopping Hurricane Dorian from becoming a Category 5 storm when it hits the state's east coast as early as Monday, a meteorologist has claimed. Pictured: A satellite image shows Dorian as it approaches the Bahamas and Florida at 11.20UTC on Friday
Supermarket shelves were bare in the state as residents prepared ahead of the storm
Dozens of people across the Sunshine State fueled up ahead of Hurricane Dorian making landfall in the event they need to evacuate
Crews in Brevard county place plywood on the windows of the Petco store in Viera as the town prepares for Hurricane Dorian's approach
Friday: Dorian becomes a Category 3 as it moves through the Atlantic Ocean
Saturday: Dorian's eye hits the north and east of Turks and Caicos
Sunday AM: Dorian slows its forward motion and hits the southeastern Bahamas
Monday AM: Dorian hits the northeastern Bahamas
Monday PM - Tuesday AM: Dorian slows and hits Palm Beach County and potentially the entire eastern coast including:
Tuesday PM - Wednesday AM: Dorian heads up towards Central Florida affecting areas including Tampa, Orlando and Kissimmee
Wednesday: Rains and winds hit southeastern Georgia
Source: The Weather Channel, NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center
In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew was the most destructive hurricane to ever hit Florida where it made landfall, with wind speeds as high as 165mph, killing 65 people and causing $27.3billion in damage.
National Hurricane Center projections showed Dorian hitting roughly near Fort Pierce, some 70 miles (113 kilometers) north of Mar-a-Lago, then running along the coastline as it moved north. But forecasters cautioned that the storm's track remains still highly uncertain and even a small deviation could put Dorian offshore - or well inland.
Trump has declared a state of emergency in Florida and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster-relief efforts. He told reporters that 'Mar-a-Lago can handle itself' and that he is more worried about Florida.
Shortly after midnight on Friday, Trump tweeted that he was 'monitoring Hurricane Dorian and receiving frequent briefings and updates'.
'This is an extremely dangerous storm, please prepare and be safe,' he wrote.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had earlier declared a state of emergency for every county and asked President Trump declare a pre-landfall disaster for all 67 counties. He also activated 2,500 members of the National Guard with 1,500 more on standby.
'All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts. As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant. Do not wait until it is too late to make a plan.'
- As of Friday evening, Dorian became a major hurricane and was classified as Category 3
- It is expected to hit Florida on Labor Day as a Category 4 and 10 million will be caught in the crosshairs
- Some meteorologists say Dorian could become a Category 5 because the storm has developed an eye
- Trump's resort Mar-a-Lago is reportedly directly in the hurricane's path
- Around 7.5 million Florida residents could lose power as a result of Dorian
- There is a fuel shortage and people are abandoning their cars at gas stations
- Governor Rick DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida's 67 counties
- About 2,500 members of the National Guard have been activated with 1,500 more on standby
- Florida could see as much as 15 inches of rain in isolated areas from Hurricane Dorian
- Miami city officials have ordered electric scooters off the streets in case they become flying projectiles
Still, with Dorian days away and its track uncertain, Disney and other major resorts held off announcing any closings, and Florida authorities ordered no immediate mass evacuations.
'Sometimes if you evacuate too soon, you may evacuate into the path of the storm if it changes,' DeSantis said.
But some counties announced mandatory evacuations ahead of time on Friday. Brevard County and Martin County officials announced residents of barrier islands, mobile homes and low-lying areas would be under a mandatory evacuation order beginning Sunday morning.
The Brevard County order includes the Kennedy Space Center. Indian River County officials said they will recommend residents of its barrier island voluntarily evacuate once hurricane warnings are issued.
Homeowners and businesses rushed to cover their windows with plywood. Supermarkets ran out of bottled water, and long lines formed at gas stations, with some fuel shortages reported.
At a Publix supermarket in Cocoa Beach, Ed Ciecirski of the customer service department said the pharmacy was extra busy with people rushing to fill prescriptions. The grocery was rationing bottled water and had run out of dry ice.
'It's hairy,' he said.
Late Friday, Dorian was centered 545 miles east of West Palm Beach. It was moving northwest at 10 mph. Forecasters warned that its slow movement means Florida could face a prolonged wallop of wind, storm surge and torrential rain.
Coastal areas could get 6 to 12 inches of rain, with 18 inches in some places, triggering life-threatening flash floods, the hurricane center said.
Also imperiled were the Bahamas, where canned food and bottled water were disappearing quickly from shelves and the sound of hammering echoed across the islands as people boarded up their homes.
Dorian was expected to hit the northwestern part of the Bahamas by Sunday with the potential for life-threatening storm surge that could raise water levels 15 feet above normal.
'Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane,' Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. 'The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life.'
A new model, from the University of Michigan, Industrial & Operations Engineering program, predicts at least 35 percent of the Sunshine State's population will lose electricity.
Hurricane Dorian mercifully blew past Puerto Rico, but is now barreling towards Florida and is forecast to make landfall on Labor Day Monday as a monster Category 4 storm.
The hurricane continued his ominous path on Thursday churning in the open Atlantic, headed towards the northern Bahamas and Florida's eastern coast.
It is expected to intensify into a Category 3 storm by Friday and could strengthen into a Category 4 with vicious 130mph winds in the following days.
On Wednesday Dorian was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane and briefly made landfall in the Virgin Islands and impacted small Puerto Rican islands, causing power outages and minor flooding.