A first group of about twenty Dutch soldiers is from the naval ship Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt landed with transport helicopters on Abaco, one of the islands of the Bahamas, which was hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

They made contact with three soldiers who had already arrived, the local government and aid organizations to make a plan for providing emergency aid to the island group.

Navy ship Zr.Ms. Snellius arrived in the affected area at 7 am (local time). The Johan de Witt followed at 4 p.m. A total of 550 Dutch soldiers from the navy, army, air force and military police arrived at the Bahamas to provide emergency aid.

"The first day is all about coordination," says Commander Ad van de Sande about the mission. "The first soldiers flew to the island by helicopter to make an inventory of what the population on the island now needs most."

"In addition, we are busy preparing to get our people and our relief supplies on land. We will be committed to that in the coming days."


Dutch navy ship braves high waves due to hurricane Dorian

Soldiers bring water, food and medicines

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense says that the soldiers are going to bring drinking water, sustainable food and medicines to the Bahamas, among other things. Medical personnel from the army can also be deployed and there are specialists who can help with the repair of the infrastructure.

The Johan de Witt is an amphibious transport ship. It serves as a port, airport and storage location at the same time.

The Snellius is equipped with advanced sonar equipment to map underwater damage, shipwrecks and other blockages. It can therefore play a role in making ports in the Bahamas accessible again.

Bahamas hit hard by Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian has destroyed the island of Abaco. © Getty Images

People carry the possessions that they still have with them. © Getty Images

Dorian held an incredible home for almost 48 hours on the Bahamian islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. © Red Cross

The hurricane has blown boats onto the land. © Getty Images

Two women walk through the ruins. © Reuters

The Red Cross is ready with emergency packages. © Red Cross

Large parts of Abaco are still under water caused by floods. © Red Cross

The immense damage on the island of Abaco is evident from the air. © Getty Images

Authorities fear 2,500 missing

The Bahamian authorities announced on Wednesday that around 2,500 people were reported missing. According to the same authorities, a number of those people could be in reception locations. Thousands of Bahamians currently reside in those emergency camps.

The official number of deaths is still fifty.

See also: 'Dutch army good at providing emergency relief for the Caribbean'


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