Hurricane Dorian death toll in Bahamas expected to rise: UN official

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-07 02:14:59|Editor: Wu Qin
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GENEVA, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- A United Nations emergency response manager said Friday that health officials are "worried" the death toll will rise above its current 30 from Hurricane Dorian which wreaked havoc in the Bahamas in the Caribbean.

"We certainly expect the death toll to rise, I can't tell you what that would be, but we're really worried about it," said Ian Norton, Manager of the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Medical, at a UN media briefing here.

So far, the Bahamas government has confirmed 30 people have died after the hurricane lashed the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama last weekend with maximum wind speeds of 297 kilometers an hour.

"What we see, and what we've seen unfortunately in this devastating storm surge, especially in a stationary storm, (it) produces what you could see maybe after a tsunami," Norton said.

In such cases, injuries were unlikely to be observed, but medical response teams on the ground said they have found people drowned or lost their lives -- drowning or surviving.

The Bahamian government said thousands are still missing after the Category 5 storm brought with it a storm surge of 5.5 to seven meters, and 76,000 people are believed to be homeless.

UN weather experts from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Friday attributed the extreme level of destruction to Dorian remaining "stationary, thus exacerbating the impacts of the hazards: wind, rain, waves and storm surge."