Monday 18 November, 2019

Watch: Conflicting reports of looting in Abaco, Bahamas, after Dorian

There are reports of desperation in the Abaco Islands, Bahamas, which has been destroyed after Hurricane Dorian.

A Facebook post on Wednesday night showed some residents who claimed that looters were taking over their homes.

 

However, another resident, doing a walkabout showing the situation, contradicted this, saying there was no looting.

Facebook user Ca Newbry said on Wednesday that there was no power, no communication.

He was begging for chainsaws and heavy equipment and funding to house people as the area is currently uninhabitable.

“It’s not habitable here, it’s not safe. I’ve been told there’s been alleged looting incidents…there are local forces on the ground. But as far as looting is concerned, people here are very peaceful. I think they’re more bewildered than violent,” he said.

However Facebook group, Bahamians Against Corruption, supported claims of looting.

“We have gotten reports out of Abaco and despite what the government is saying, people are looting. People are hungry and thirsty and has thus went into survival mode. All we can say is, we hope Abaco gets the help it needs sooner than later. Continue to pray for those affected.”

However Facebook user Dave Maler Cadet shared a video saying Haitian Bahamians are being unfairly blamed and everyone is just trying to survive.

He said people have not received any food or supplies for the past few days.

They saying Haitians robbing stores, stop putting this on us, everybody trying to survive, and ain’t nobody robbing stores because there’s nothing in stores,” he said.

“I want everybody to share this…everybody gotta know what’s going on, because we need that help, we need that support,” he said.

He said that one supermarket owner offered supplies to them and told them to come inside and take whatever they needed, and because of this, people called them thieves. 

He said it's known that Haitians are hated there, but at this critical time everyone should support each other. 

One man noted the absence of Haitian authorities during the relief effort and said they feel alone, without any support from the Haitian Embassy.

He said he and his family and friends are trying to evacuate the island because there’s “nothing left”.

Meanwhile, video footage surfaced of a desperate rescue in Grand Bahama during Dorian's passage, as houses were seen almost submerged by water under the force of the category 5 hurricane. 

Relatives have been sharing posts in Facebook groups asking for the whereabouts of their family members and friends. 

Both the US Coast Guard and RFA Mounts Bay have been assisting with relief efforts in bringing supplies to the Bahamas.

St Lucia will be sending US$100,000 to the Bahamas in aid, while Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the country will be sending US$500,000 in relief. 

Meanwhile, Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott asked President Trump to temporarily waive visa requirements for Bahamians affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Relief efforts are ongoing; for information on relief efforts visit https://www.bahamas.com/relief or https://www.cdema.org/bahamas-disaster-relief

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