Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas relief efforts hampered by lashing rain from Tropical Storm Humberto

Chris Riotta
Tropical Storm Humberto hit the Bahamas' north west: AP

Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas have been hampered by heavy rainfall from another tropical storm.

Less than fortnight after the category 5 hurricane killed at least 50 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and left thousands displaced, Tropical Storm Humberto has churned over the northwestern region of the island chain.

As heavy rain lashed down and strong winds battered the already devastated are officials were forced to suspend relief efforts.

Humberto is expected to strengthen in the coming days and leave the Bahamas, moving well off the east coast of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean early next week, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 km per hour) with higher gusts, officials said.

It barely moved on Saturday morning and was located about 30 miles (45 km) away from Great Abaco Island.

Forecasters said the storm could drop up to six inches (15.24 cm) of rain in some areas but that it was not expected to produce significant storm surge in the northwestern Bahamas, which were hammered earlier this month by Hurricane Dorian.

Humberto could, however, hamper relief efforts in the area where thousands of structures were flattened and 70,000 people were left needing shelter, food and water and medical aid.

Dorian slammed into the Bahamas on 1 September as a Category 5 storm, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes ever to hit land, packing top sustained winds of 185 miles per hour (298 km per hour).

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Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has said the official death toll from Dorian stands at 50 but that hundreds of people are missing and it is expected to rise.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Nassau on Friday in a show of international support.

He met with evacuees at a shelter and told reporters Dorian should be a wake-up call for the world about the dangers of climate change.

“If we don’t reverse the situation we’ll see tragedies like this one multiplying and becoming more and more intense, more frequent,” Mr Guterres said. “Climate change is running faster than what we are. We need to reverse this trend.”

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He also pledged financial aid to the island chain as the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre said Humberto was expected to deliver up to six inches of rain in parts of the Bahamas that had been impacted by Dorian.

“The financial cost of the damage caused by Dorian is not clear, but it will be in the billions of dollars," he said. "The Bahamas cannot be expected to foot this bill alone."

A tropical storm warning has been put in effect for most of the Northwestern Bahamas, including Great Abaco Island and Grand Bahama Island.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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