Report: Hurricane Dorian inflicted $3.4B losses on Bahamas
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Hurricane Dorian inflicted losses of about $3.4 billion on the Bahamas, an amount equal to one-quarter of the Caribbean archipelago’s GDP, according to a report released Friday.
The report by the Inter-American Development Bank also said there were 67 confirmed deaths and that 282 people were still missing as of late October. Those figures have been previously reported.
Nearly 29,500 people lost homes or jobs, or were temporarily displaced by the Category 5 storm that hit Grand Bahama and Abaco islands in early September, the report said.
The development bank said reconstruction will require big investments and will take many years. Dorian was one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever to make landfall, unleashing a storm surge of up to 7.6 meters (25 feet).
Destruction of homes and other buildings as well as infrastructure caused damage amounting to $2.5 billion, with 87% reported in Abaco and the remainder in Grand Bahama, according to the development bank.
Some 9,000 homes were damaged and seven schools destroyed, leading to the reassignment of 1,500 displaced students, the report said. It described damage to some tourism facilities as “catastrophic.”
Another $717 million in losses was caused by the storm’s impact on the production of goods and services provided, with the private sector sustaining 84% of that total, the report said. It estimated another $221 million in costs for the cleanup of an oil spill in Grand Bahama and debris removal and demolition.
Atisha Kemp, an activist in the capital of Nassau, said Bahamians are frustrated with the government and that many of the displaced are still living in tents, with power and water lacking in some areas.
“Things are a mess,” she said. “Everything is at a standstill.”