MOT Emergency Coordinating Committee's efforts continue, says DG

The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has given the "all clear" signal for the Islands Of The Bahamas as Hurricane Joaquin moves away from the archiapelgo, but the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism's (BMOT) Emergency Coordinating Committee remains in the command center in constant contact with MOT representatives throughout the islands.

An all clear signal means that all hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches are discontinued for the entire Bahamas, however several islands in the Southern and Central Bahamas have been gravely affected by the storm that lingered over them for hours.

Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Island and San Salvador were hit the hardest according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers for all the residents of The Bahamas who have been affected by the devastation of Hurricane Joaquin,” says Joy Jibrilu, Director General of Tourism for The Islands Of The Bahamas. “This of course extends to the crew of the El Faro and their families. We pray for their safe return."

"The Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism’s crisis management team continues to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Nassau Airport Development Company, the Port Authority and other relevant authorities. It is also keeping track of all visitor counts by island and receiving frequent updates”.

That Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has issued a notice to industry partners advising them to allow NEMA,the appropriate Government agency, to conduct the initial damage and needs assessment in all the affected areas so that offers of assistance are appropriate. BMOT stressed that it is not recommended for private entities to travel to the affected areas at this time. 

NEMA deployed a team of four persons from the Department of Civil Aviation, Ministry Of Works, the Royal Department Defence Force and the Department of Meteorology on Saturday, October 3 to ascertain the states of the airports on Acklins, Crooked Island, San Salvador and Long Island.  Royal Navy ships will be departing from Jamaica to also assess the damage as well as take emergency supplies. 

Once the reconnaissance has been done, a State of Emergency will be declared and that will then determine the next step in a well-established protocol on how to donate items and assess various concessions. Upon completion of the needs assessment, NEMA will advise aid distribution protocols, as well as manpower needs.

The Islands Of The Bahamas will be releasing updates on the status of each island in The Bahamas over the next few days.