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Queen ‘shocked and saddened’ by devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian

In a statement to the country’s governor general, the Queen sent her condolences to those who lost their lives in the Category 4 storm.

Satellite image of Hurricane Dorian (NOAA/AP)
Satellite image of Hurricane Dorian (NOAA/AP)

By Luke Powell, PA

The Queen has said she is “shocked and saddened” to learn of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.

In a statement to the country’s Governor-General, Sir Cornelius Smith, the Queen sent her condolences to those who lost their lives in the Category 4 storm.

Prime minister Hubert Minnis said at least five died in the Abaco Islands and there are people in nearby Great Bahama island who are in serious distress.

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Boats litter the area around a marina in the Bahamas (US Coast Guard/AP)

According to the Red Cross, more than 13,000 homes in  Grand Bahama and Abaco are understood to have been destroyed or severely damaged by the hurricane.

The Red Cross said extensive flooding on Abaco is believed to have contaminated wells with saltwater, creating an urgent need for clean water, the Red Cross said.

In a statement, the Queen, who last visited the country in 1994, said: “Prince Philip and I have been shocked and saddened to learn of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, and we send our sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives following this terrible storm.

“At this very difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with those who have seen their homes and property destroyed, and I also send my gratitude to the emergency services and volunteers who are supporting the rescue and recovery effort.”

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Rain brought on by Hurricane Dorian continued to pour in Freeport, Bahamas, Tuesday, September 3 2019 (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

On Sunday, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds reached 185mph, with gusts up to 220mph, tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to make landfall.

By Monday afternoon, the storm’s top sustained winds had fallen to 145mph.

The Bahamas is a country made up of about 700 islands in the Atlantic Ocean and became part of the Commonwealth in 1973.

Tourism accounts for approximately 50% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago’s workforce.

It is a popular holiday destination for British tourists and has an estimated population of about 332,600 in July 2018.

PA

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