Survival Stories from Bahamian Ghost Towns

Disaster Response | Print

Emergency relief teams in major impact zones in the Bahamas landed this week to find mostly ghost towns remaining. As partners looked for people to interview, they quickly found that the few enduring residents were huddled at the airport, eagerly awaiting the next flight out.

Many islanders have yet to process the sudden and complete destruction of their homes and livelihoods so, when given the opportunity to describe their experiences, few survivors needed more than a microphone to feel comfortable sharing their stories.

One woman in her early twenties said, “I was holding onto my child in my arms. I couldn’t do anything. The wind was awful. My roof flew over my head, and I think a four-by-four hit me in the head — I passed out. I remember seeing black, but I [still] had my child. It shook me [up], and I climbed under my house. All of my house flew over [our heads].

In meetings with local pastors, several ministers shared that in the midst of caring for their congregations, they were still searching for lost members of their own families. Because communication capabilities on the island are still limited, they hadn’t heard from relatives separated in the storm since the hurricane’s initial touch down.

BGR partners were happy to report that after this gathering, two pastors followed up with them to let the team know that they found their families, alive and well! 

Others on the islands are still searching for belongings and missing pets, with some staying behind to search for what was lost in the tidal surges.

Thank you for your continued prayers and gifts to these hurting people.