Hurricane death toll rises to 20 in Bahamas


Photo: AP

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from Hurricane Dorian has mounted to at least 20, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Wednesday.

The deaths were confirmed on the Abaco islands in northern Bahamas and the number was expected to rise further, Minnis told reporters in Bahamas.

Minnis also said that more police and defense forces were deployed, warning looters would be prosecuted according to law. 

United Nations relief officials said that some 70,000 people in Bahamas were in immediate need of aid, especially shelter, safe drinking water, food and medicine.

The dangerous Category 4 hurricane hit the collection of islands in Bahamas on Sunday, and then strengthened to a Category 5 one as it lashed the Carribean island country and caused widespread devastation during its two-day mauling.

The Bahamian government sent hundreds of police and marines, along with medical workers, to search and rescue the hurricane victims.

Minnis said on Monday that his country lacked the ability to defend itself against extreme weather events like Hurricane Dorian, and many Bahamians were in need of help. 

He thanked the international community for its response and assistance.

Hurricane Dorian currently has moved north to U.S. shores after it battered the Bahamas for nearly two days.