Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin (pronounced ‘Whakeen’) made a slow passage through south and central Bahamas before moving on to impact Bermuda as a less powerful storm.
Reports indicate that most of the severe damage is being found on the Bahamian islands of Long Island, San Salvador, Samana Cay, Crooked Island, Acklins, Great Exuma and Rum Cay. Other islands were also impacted to a lesser extent including North Eleuthera.
On some islands roads were impassable due to downed power lines and other debris.
A reporter travelling on a reconnaissance flight to Long Island, San Salvador, Cat Island, Rum Cay and Crooked Island reported extreme damage on Long Island and Crooked Island.
According to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, several of the islands still have flooding conditions, and there is an immediate need for food and water in the southern Bahamian islands.
Communications remain unreliable in the southern region resulting from damaged electricity and telecommunications infrastructure.
Reports indicate that deaths occurred during the hurricane, but as yet, these have not been confirmed. Some NGOs have begun relief efforts collecting clothing and shoes, blankets, water, pet supplies and non-perishable food and snacks, a Nassau Guardian report indicates.
The Government of The Bahamas, through its National Emergency Management Agency, is busy assessing the structural damage and prioritizing responses for the southern region of the country.