Virtual reconnaissance of Bahamas finds some structures performed well during Dorian

Amid devastation, lives likely saved by resilient buildings.

September 19, 2019 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Some buildings performed well during Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, likely saving lives, according to a preliminary virtual reconnaissance report by the University of Florida’s Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment.

Buildings such as the Marsh Harbour Healthcare Center served as storm shelters and performed well. Marsh Harbour was back to functioning immediately after the hurricane passed through the islands.

Hurricane Dorian raised the need for more study on impacts of slow-progression hurricanes and highlighted the need to reexamine disaster risk and preparedness for small island nations, the report says. At least 76,000 people were impacted by Dorian on the Bahamas, with more than 50 deaths and many still missing.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) reported that satellite-based damage assessments have counted about 1,100 destroyed buildings and nearly 2,300 damaged buildings on Greater Abaco, one of the hardest-hit islands. Building destruction on some islands ranged from 25% to 75%.

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