The Latest: UN chief to head to Bahamas to show support
HIGH ROCK, Bahamas (AP) — The Latest on hurricane aftermath in the Bahamas (all times local):
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres says he is flying to the Bahamas on Friday to express "deep solidarity" with its people and to raise awareness of the need for international help following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.
Guterres told reporters Thursday that the Category 5 hurricane, the worst-ever to hit the Bahamas, is "a clear illustration" of the impact of climate change along with cyclones in Mozambique, drought in the Sahel, fires in the Amazon and the Arctic, melting glaciers, and the bleaching of corals.
He said "climate change is running faster than we are, and we need to have a much more ambitious approach in what we do in order to defeat climate change."
The secretary-general is hosting a climate summit for world leaders on Sept. 23. He said he's seeking commitments to carbon neutrality and more ambitious plans to reduce emissions.
Two Dutch navy ships have arrived in the Bahamas to help with the relief operation after the region was devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
The Defense Ministry says that around 550 military personnel who arrived Wednesday on board the ships Snellius and Johan de Witt will deliver aid to residents on Abaco island.
The Johan de Witt is a transport ship that uses landing craft to bring supplies to shore, while the Snellius surveys underwater damage and obstacles in a first step to clearing access to ports and harbors on Abaco.
The ships also are carrying building materials, food and water that can be flown in by helicopters.
The official death toll in the Bahamas stands at 50. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said he expects the number to significantly increase.
Bahamians are beginning to tackle a daunting cleanup a week after Hurricane Dorian devastated the archipelago's northern islands.
Residents sift through debris hunting for prized possessions as they prepare to rebuild from one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes in history.
People are piling up wreckage. Some are burning ruined clothes.
A preliminary report estimates Dorian caused a total of some $7 billion in damage, although the government of the Bahamas has not yet offered any figures.