North-western Bahamas under tropical storm warning

Friday, September 13, 2019

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HIGH ROCK, The Bahamas (AP) — The Government of The Bahamas yesterday issued a tropical storm warning for several of its north-western islands, which are still reeling from Hurricane Dorian.

The US National Hurricane Center says a tropical cyclone is expected to form in the coming hours near the north-western Bahamas. The system is emerging about 235 miles (380 kilometres) south-east of Great Abaco Island.

The disturbance has maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph) and is moving to the north-west at 8 mph (13 kph).

Forecasters say the system could become a tropical storm within the next day or so. Heavy winds and rain are expected within the north-west Bahamas by late today, except for Andros Island.

The hurricane centre says people on Florida's east coast should monitor the progress of the storm system.

Meanwhile, two Dutch navy ships have arrived in The Bahamas to help with the relief operation after two islands in the archipelago — Great Abaco and Grand Bahama — were devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

The Defence Ministry said that around 550 military personnel who arrived Wednesday on board the ships Snellius and Johan de Witt will deliver aid to residents on Abaco Island.

The Johan de Witt is a transport ship that uses landing craft to bring supplies to shore, while the Snellius surveys underwater damage and obstacles in a first step to clearing access to ports and harbours on Abaco.

The ships are also carrying building materials, food and water that can be flown in by helicopters.

The official death toll in the Bahamas stands at 50. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said he expects the number to significantly increase.

Earlier this week, tourism officials in The Bahamas pointed out that except for Grand Bahama and Great Abaco, which are located in northern Bahamas, the rest of The Bahamas was spared the wrath of Hurricane Dorian and is open for business.

“Maintaining a robust tourism industry will be vital in helping the country to recover and rebuild,” said Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D'Aguilar. “We are grateful for the outpouring of support and love for our islands, and we would like everyone to know that the best thing they can do for us now is visit Nassau, Paradise Island and the Out Islands. Our beautiful island nation is ready to welcome you.”

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