IFRC

Families evacuated during Hurricane Matthew. Lisa and Exanna´s experience

Published: 9 October 2016 20:18 CET

Lisa Pinder and Exanna Dormeus are part of the Bahamas Red Cross rescue team. Both participated in the rescue of six people during the impact of Hurricane Matthew, October 6 at dawn, when the eye of the hurricane hit Nassau, on New Providence Island.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), an agency that works as a Bahamas government cabinet and works closely with the National Society issued an emergency call to the Red Cross requesting support in the evacuation of a family that couldn´t take refuge before and saw their life was at risk as their was completely flooded.

Exanna narrates that to evacuate a mother and her son to the home of relatives, they had to overcome almost impassable roads. This transport was carried out with the help of members of state security, which facilitated the operation.

"Sometimes we did not know if we were driving on the road or if we were practically floating over water" tells Lisa, to which she adds "it was very difficult to stay stable on the road. There were people we met along the way that we also evacuated, especially elderly and children, who had seen their homes filled with nearly 10 cm of water and were afraid "

Both Lisa and Exanna shown calm as they tell their experience. They did not sleep until the eye of the storm moved away from the area and did not receive more emergency calls. At 9 am local time Bahamas on 7 October, the authorities reported the "all clear" to the population of the islands, leading to a lot of people going into the streets in search of food, gasoline or back to their homes to assess the damage.

"Most people who we evacuated yesterday looked traumatized, in panic. People are usually reluctant to leave their homes in the pre-hurricane moment but after seeing their lives in danger, they were enormously grateful that  we could provided relief", calmly explains Exanna.

The Bahamas Red Cross has provided psychosocial support in past situations of natural disasters and plans to do it again and continue offering basic food, water, clothing and cleaning supplies to the affected population. Lisa and Exanna will not hesitate for a moment to continue spending their time and dedication to improve and save the lives of their community.




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