Two CARICOM leaders touched down in the Bahamas Thursday morning to hold talks with Bahamian Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis about relief efforts following the destruction left behind Hurricane Dorian on the island between Sunday and Tuesday this week.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet arrived at the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau shortly before 9 am.
According to Mottley's Facebook page, they were greeted by several Bahamian government ministers, including Minister of Tourism Dionsio D'Aguliar, Minister of Education Jeffery Lloyd and Minister of Transport Renwood Wills among other dignitaries.
Both prime ministers were accompanied by CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin La Roque and were later whisked away for a closed-door meeting with Minnis at the National Emergency Management Administration (NEMA) office.
In a Facebook post, Mottley indicated that the meeting, which also included members of NEMA, was to allow the other regional leaders to receive a "very thorough briefing of the situation at hand, including reports from the Ministry of Works, Director of Environmental Health, Ministry of Public Health, Commissioner of Police, the Bahamas Defence Force and Department of Social Services."
Dorian, labelled a Category Five hurricane when it neared the Bahamas, ripped through the Abaco Islands and island of Grand Bahama, leaving a trail of destruction behind.
At least 20 people have since been declared dead, scores reported missing and thousands have been left stranded on the islands as rescue efforts continue. Help has come from the US military and other agencies who have been assisting in rescuing people trapped by floodwaters.
- by Mark Bassant