Categorized | National News

More Than 168 Animals Died In Hurricane Joaquin

Director of Environmental Health Melanie McKenzie said yesterday that more than 168 animals died in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving officials with the daunting task of finding ways to depose of the bodies.

Earlier this month, Hurricane Joaquin devastated the islands of Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

While speaking at a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, Ms. McKenzie said a team of 10 persons have collected the animals’ bodies on Long Island and do not have definite number for the rest of the islands.

“We have collected them and we are burying them and burning them. What we are going to do later is add lime to that mix because lime helps with the decomposition,” she said.

The Department of Environmental Health is also taking steps to ensure that mosquitos don’t become a huge issue on the affected islands by spraying the areas and treating settled water.

“What we have done so far as treated as much standing water as possible. We are going to be challenged through transportation through water. The initial response has been good, but persons more or less need to see the fogging so we’ve begun fogging in Long Island and other places but we have not been able to get to Rum Cay because we need transportation,” Ms. McKenzie said.

Garbage also remains a factor, according to the environment director.

“The wind has garbage everywhere. But the first thing we have to do is to get rid of the standing water. The work is slow and it is going to be tedious,” she said.

“The volume is so much and it will not be able to go in the dump sites that we usually have in different areas. We also have odor and mold issues. When sheetrock gets wet mold will appear and there is nothing you can do about it but dispose of it. So we are getting a team to give advice to residents in Long Island and Crooked Island.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie quickly responded by pledging more manpower to clean up.

“The government is prepared to commit to additional labour to accelerated whatever clean up that is necessary. The minister for local government indicated that and I indicated to her that the government is prepared to finance the cleaning up immediately and so that there ought to be no undue delay in committing yourself to that project. And so moving forward it is a question of urgency for us because it has health implications,” he said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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