FREEPORT, Bahamas – Tropical Storm Humberto left the Bahamas on Saturday for rain on parts of the northwestern archipelago that had been hit by hurricane Dorian two weeks ago.
Humberto dropped to the islands as UN secretary of rain – General António Guterres visited the Bahamas to support Dorian's humanitarian efforts. The Category 5 storm challenged thousands of people to find food, water and shelter. The list of missing people is an alarming 1,300 people and the death toll is 50. But officials warn that the list is temporary and many people simply are not able to connect with relatives.
The storm originally threatened to exacerbate the nation's problems. but the conditions seemed to normalize on Saturday afternoon.
HUMBERTO FORMS EAST OF BATTERED BAHAMAS TROPICAL STORM
Under the dazzling sun of the Grand Bahama, 40-year-old maintenance official Dexter Wilson helped a friend make a blue tarp on a damaged roof. He said he was worried about his brother in Abaco in the face of the tropical storm.
"He's still there, I do not know why," he said east of the center of the storm, which ran east of Abaco. Government officials in the Bahamas, however, took no risks and urged people in damaged homes to seek protection when they announced that relief efforts would be temporarily disrupted. "The weather system will slow logistics," said Carl Smith, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency.
The distribution of meals in Grand Bahama was reduced before the storm, and a UN World Food Program spokesman said that all flights to his logistics center were suspended in Marsh Harbor in Abaco.
Later on Saturday, WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said the agency had resumed operations in Marsh Harbor. "Our team is back at work to support the people and aid organizations," Verhoosel said in a statement COO of the Grand Bahama Power Company, saying the crews would come back to power as soon as possible.
"Unfortunately, we're back in the storm preparation mode," he said.
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Guterres, who was in Abaco on Saturday, said he was "horrified" by the extent of "systematic devastation".
"Hurricane Dorian was classified as Category 5. I think it's the hell of the category," said the UN Secretary-General after his visit.
He said the storms caused by climate change had become stronger, and he pleaded with the international community to learn and provide assistance from the example of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
"We've always had a lot of hurricanes, but now they're more intense and more frequent," he said.