43 of 48 Jamaicans ‘missing’ after Hurricane Dorian found

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade says it assisted Jamaican families to locate 43 loved ones in The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian last month.

Foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith said “Jamaican families had contacted us with a desire to try to locate 48 persons in The Bahamas from whom they had not heard. I’m very pleased to advise that we have located 43 of them and they are in good health.

“Regretfully, there are two persons whom we have been unable to confirm any information on or locate them, and the other three remaining persons we have not only been unable to locate them but we’ve [also] been unable to contact the families who had originally reported them at the numbers and contact information that they had given us,” she said.

Senator Johnson Smith, who was addressing the quarterly press briefing at the ministry’s New Kingston offices on Thursday, said that efforts continue to locate the remaining five people.

She said that the Government stands in “solidarity with our brothers and sisters in The Bahamas. We give thanks for the lives saved in The Bahamas after the passage of Hurricane Dorian, and we pray [for the families] who lost loved ones.”

The minister, meanwhile, said the members of the Jamaica Defence Force’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), who were deployed to The Bahamas to help in the recovery and reconstruction efforts, are making a positive impact.

“Minister [of Foreign Affairs in The Bahamas Darren] Henfield has expressed his appreciation for the work of the DART and had shared, in particular, one of the major projects they had successfully completed with the Dutch naval officers, which was the rebuilding of the road that connects North Abaco to South Abaco,” she noted.

“Since the disaster, persons were unable to transit both islands… except if they went by boat or by helicopter, and this was extremely difficult and had become quite expensive. The road was very key to their recovery efforts and Jamaica played a big role in its reconstruction,” she said.