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People wait to board a cargo ship for evacuation at Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco, to Nassau in the Bahamas, which has also been processing evacuees. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of people fled areas of the Bahamas Saturday that were devastated by deadly Hurricane Dorian, Reuters reports.

What's happening: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it had processed the first mass evacuations from the Bahamas in West Palm Beach, Florida, with the arrival of 1,435 passengers from Abaco and Grand Bahama islands on Saturday morning. Many residents have also been evacuated to the Bahamas capital Nassau, per the New York Times.

CBP officers quickly processed all passengers, which consisted of 539 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, 857 Bahamians, and 39 other nationalities."
— U.S. Customs and Border Protection statement

The big picture: Dorian, one of the strongest Caribbean hurricanes on record, killed at least 50 people and many are still missing. The World Food Programme said some 90% of the homes, buildings and infrastructure in Marsh Harbour of Great Abaco were damaged by Dorian, which pummeled the area for almost 2 full days, per Reuters.

  • The United Nations said 8 tons of food supplies were on the way by ship and some 14,700 ready-to-eat meals. Logistical and telecommunications equipment were also being delivered, AP reports.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard said it's providing assistance with recovery operations and conducting medical evacuations.
  • Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Nassau "cannot possibly accommodate" the relocation of the thousands of storm victims from Abaco, the Nassau Guardian reports.
"I will have to discuss with my colleagues and with [the National Emergency Management Agency] the possibility of setting up appropriate tents temporarily and the appropriate open space, dry land, etc. Once we do that, we will have all the appropriate facility, tents meeting all the hygienic requirements, tents having all the kitchen facilities so that individuals are fed properly and that would give us some time to construct and build proper facilities."
— Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis

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