TOWN, Abaco, Bahamas - An assessment team lead by Captain Stephen Russell,
Director of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, conducted an
inspection of the damage caused by a tornado, which stuck the
settlement Thursday, May 24, 2012.
Krezel, Structural Engineer of the Ministry of Public Works and
Transport and Leading Mechanic Sydney Larrimore, of the Royal Bahamas
Defence Force Technical Department, accompanied Captain Russell.
team discovered that four properties were “clearly impacted” by a
severe weather system, which passed through the islands of Bimini, Grand
Bahama, Abaco and adjacent waters. The Met Department had issued a
warning of a thunderstorm, which can cause strong gusty winds, dangerous
lightning, heavy downpour and possible tornadic activity.
The four properties impacted were:
A duplex unit. The lower panels of a door were blown out and the roof suffered minor damage.
Laundromat with an apartment attached also had roof damaged; but was
covered with tarpaulin. A downed utility pole was quickly replaced and
electricity restored to the general area.
A triplex unit. A portion of the roof one of the units was blown off;
The Abaco Block and Concrete Company
structural engineer examined the integrity of the remainder structure
of the triplex to determine its suitability for living. The 12
inhabitants have been temporarily relocated with the assistance of the
Department of Social Services
Production of the Abaco Block and Concrete Company has been compromised
due to damage to its building, equipment and vehicles. The manager
noted that it could take at least three weeks to be back in operation.
assessment team noted a jeep tangled in heavy duty power lines, a 4,000
gallon fuel tank appeared to have been tossed into the air and landed
about 500 feet away from its original location.
are thankful to God that there were no fatalities or injuries during
the passage of that severe weather system,” Captain Russell said.
He then issued the following tornado safety tips:
and listen for large hailstones, heavy rain, strong winds, frequent
intense lightning bolts with rotary motion at the base of a thunderstorm
cloud with loud roaring sounds like jet or train.
safe shelter – A basement is best, other wise choose ground floor
centre rooms surrounded by other rooms. Never choose upstairs because
tornadic winds and speeds increase with height above the ground.
rooms on the north and east sides of the your shelter if no interior
rooms are available. Stay near the innermost walls. Avoid rooms on the
south and west because tornados usually travel from southwest to
a small closet or bathroom because small rooms are less susceptible to
collapse. Take shelter within the bathtub if there are no glass tub
enclosures or large mirrors nearby.
yourself and families by staying calm, seek shelter immediately, keep a
portable TV/radio and flashlight in your shelter, wear shows to protect
your feet from broken glass and other debris left in the wake of the
storm, protect head and chest by crouching face to floor with hands
behind your head, cover yourself with blankets, pillows or coat, hide
under sturdy furniture and avoid candles, gas lanterns and oil lamps.
school or in an office, seek designated shelter in the interior rooms
or hallways on the ground floor or lowest floor possible. Avoid
auditoriums and gymnasiums.
shopping malls, seek smaller interior shops on the ground floor and
avoid large open rooms as well as the south and west walls.
Evacuate mobile vehicles and seek shelter in substantial structure, ditch or culvert.