A tropical cyclone is forecast to move across the northwestern Bahamas in the coming days, potentially bringing more rain and wind to islands already devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
The US National Hurricane Centre on Thursday issued a tropical storm warning for islands including hurricane-hit Abacos and Grand Bahama, saying the system could become a tropical depression or storm before making landfall as early as Friday.
Hurricane Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on September 1 as a Category 5 storm, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record to hit land, packing top sustained winds of 298km/h.
The tropical cyclone was not expected to bring anywhere near that level of devastation, but was capable of winds of 50km/h and five to 10 cm of rain through Sunday, according to the hurricane centre.
The prime minister of the Bahamas, Hubert Minnis, on Wednesday said the official death toll was 50 but was expected to rise.
Former prime minister Hubert Ingraham said he believed “hundreds” were dead on Abaco “and significant numbers on Grand Bahama,” the Nassau Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday.
Minnis said there were problems coordinating aid due to the level of devastation and he was trying to remove “bureaucratic roadblocks”.
Aid groups have rushed shelter material to residents living in the shells of former homes or whose homes had been stripped of their roofs.
With 1,300 people still missing, according to the Bahamian government, relief services are focused on search and rescue as well as providing food, water and shelter.
Officials have erected large tents in Nassau to house those made homeless by Dorian and plan to erect tent cities on Abaco capable of sheltering up to 4,000 people.