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William and Kate visit Bahamas island to learn about hurricane recoery

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited a church on the Abaco Islands within the Bahamas to hear how communities are recovering after a devastating hurricane.

The couple flew from Nassau and spoke to locals about the harm attributable to Hurricane Dorian in September 2019 earlier than attending a conventional “Fish Fry”.

William and Kate arrived on the Daystar Evangelical Church to hear what it was like to be on the island on the level the hurricane hit, and how residents have since come collectively to help one another.

Benson Etienne using his bicycle across the hurricane-hit Marsh Harbour, on Abaco Island within the Bahamas (Manuel Moreno Gonzalez/Unicef)

(PA Media)

They had been greeted by Pastor Silbert Mills, who defined that one of many three church buildings was “completely destroyed, taken off its foundation”.

The duke requested which route the hurricane had are available in from earlier than they went contained in the broken constructing to assess the harm.

The duchess, sporting a pink Rixo dress, stated: “The church is at the heart of the community when events like this happen.”

As they had been instructed about the devastation triggered, the duke stated: “You must have been terrified.”

The pastor, who has labored on the church for seven years, instructed the couple that the UK’s Met Office was essentially the most correct supply for monitoring storms.

Teams from RFA Mounts Bay delivering help to the Island of Great Abaco within the Bahamas (LPhot Paul Halliwell/MoD/Crown Copyright)

(PA Media)

The couple then sat in the primary physique of the church to hear from native residents about how they’d been affected.

It is estimated that greater than 2,000 folks lost their lives within the hurricane, together with 200 on Abaco.

Speaking forward of the royals’ arrival, Pastor Mills pointed to the place the place one of many church’s historic buildings had as soon as stood, explaining the way it been utterly destroyed.

“We had three buildings on this property that survived many, many hurricanes going back to hurricane Betsy of 1965, Hurricane Floyd of 1999,” he stated forward of the royals’ arrival,” he stated.

“But the facility was no match for hurricane Dorian. It was a Category Five monster storm that had waves crashing the roof of this building. The water was very much up to the ceiling in here.

“It washed everything out and it just destroyed so much history that was here. The building that was here was built in 1952. It was a wooden building built out of Abaco pine, and we kept it here and remodelled it to maintain its historic values, but Dorian swept it off its foundation.”

Residents had been locked down for months, he stated, and the NGOs couldn’t get in due to flooding, and later, the pandemic, severely delaying recovery efforts.

Pastor Mills stated some members of the neighborhood remained displaced, two-and-a-half years later.

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