Floridians, coastal Filipinos prepare for wrath of Hurricane Dorian

Days of heavy rain and tornado-like winds have pummeled the Bahamas, causing flooding, destruction, and have left at least 5 people dead.

Caught in the devastating Hurricane Dorian are more than 3,000 Filipinos who live and work in the archipelago.

“We’ve been trying to get in touch with other Filipinos in Nassau. That’s the most we can do right now. But we are running out of battery life on our phone so that is going to limit us with regard to communicating with them.”

Doctor Librada Capuli and her husband benjamin were former presidents of the Filipino Association of the Bahamas. They have been trying to keep track of other Filipinos living in other neighboring islands since Dorian made landfall on Sunday morning. The Bahamas consists of 700 islands, cays and islets.

By Monday morning, video clips posted on social media like this one gave the world a glimpse of Dorian’s wrath.

The islands of abaco and marsh harbour on the northern part of the Bahamas have suffered the brunt of the category 5 hurricane.

Capuli told ABS-CBN News that they are waiting to hear from one Abaco island resident Elmer Bongon.

“The other Filipinos that he’s associated with living in marsh harbor which is the town that is I think 90 percent flooded, wala po syang communication at the moment.”

Officials confirmed that the five people killed were from the Abaco islands, but they have not been publicly identified.

“He’s assuring that they are all safe wherever they’re staying however with the news we’re getting from international news and local, marsh harbor was completely swiped out so we’re still hoping that they’re safe and hopefully we can get some updates from them through mr bongon.”

The United States Coast Guard on Monday evacuated 19 people from Marsh Harbour Clinic to a hospital in Nassau.

This footage was sent to us from marsh harbour where Filipino doctors were helping with the hospital evacuation.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, was slowly making its way to Florida’s east coast Tuesday night after pounding the Bahamas for days.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Dorian downgraded to category 2 on Tuesday, and while it seemed to be decreasing in intensity it has grown in size with tropical storm force winds extending out to 175 miles.

Millions of Floridians have been preparing for Dorian’s arrival since last weekend. Florida Governor Ron Desantis gave mandatory evacuation orders to all coastal counties, including Jacksonville, since Monday.

“W’ve been through this type of storms before. We kind of know what we have to do. We hope it doesn’t affect us too much, but this is what we accept as part of living in Florida.”

Visitors like this family from windermere florida have been affected by the flight delays.

“Yung airport kasi close open, close open, so hindi namin alam kung paano sya….And nag-iiba lagi yung track ng hurricane so hindi rin kami makasigurado pero we’re prepared naman.”

Meanwhile, Bahamas officials have said that they expect the death toll in the Caribbean nation to go up. According to the Red Cross, at least 13 thousand homes have been destroyed. The Capulis told us they heard some Filipinos have lost all of their belongings.

“The president of the association is really working hard to get some relief goods to those filipinos affected by this hurricane so we’ve been in contact with her. Her name is Florita Devertos. Rest assured that the relief goods will be sent to those affected areas as soon as possible.”

If you wish to donate to those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, you can reach the association through their Facebook page.

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