As Hurricane Dorian continues to slam the Bahamas and threatens the eastern coast of the United States, a reported 13,000 homes have been destroyed. The news comes as Dorian, the strongest storm to ever hit the islands and the second strongest storm ever observed in the Atlantic, has remained “stationary” over the Bahamas for more than 12 hours, having first made landfall on the Abaco Islands on Sunday as a Category 5 storm.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) confirmed Monday that “as many as” 13,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed by Dorian across the Bahamas, the Independent reports. There are also reports of downed power lines and the Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport was said to be under five feet of water on Monday.
“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas said at an evening press conference, The New York Times reports. “Our focus is search, rescue and recovery. I ask for your prayers for those in affected areas and for our first responders.”
“Many homes, businesses and other buildings have been completed or partially destroyed,” he added. “Downtown Grand Bahama is under three feet of water, including the ground floor of its hospital and the prime minister’s office.”
Due to Dorian’s remaining “stationary” over the islands, officials with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, a relief group based in Barbados, may not be able to visit the islands until Wednesday afternoon.
As Dorian ravaged the islands, images and videos shared online began to show the extent of the damage.
WATCH: the Consul General in Atlanta gave us this video showing the devastation of #HurricaneDorian in the Bahamas already. She has been getting constant updates from loved ones @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/bTz6AGSV2j— Jasmina Alston (@JasminaAlstonTV) September 1, 2019
Additionally, Minnis confirmed that at least five people, all on the Abaco Islands, had died, with another 21 believed to be injured. The death toll is expected to rise.
Among the dead is Lachino McIntosh, a 7-year-old who drowned as his family tried to escape their damaged home on Abaco Island Sunday. His sister is among the missing.0comments
“I don't know what to feel, my grandson's dead. I just saw my grandson about two days ago and he told me he loved me," Lachino's grandmother, Ingrid McIntosh, told Eyewitness News. "He turned round and said 'Grandma I love you' and you know what I told my grandson? I said 'that feels so good because I haven't heard that in a long time from no one.'"
Currently, there is looming fear that as flood waters recede, bodies will be carried out into the ocean.