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Silence, devastation mark Bahamas town; but some are staying

Meanwhile, the United Nations said eight tons of food supplies were on the way by ship. Some 14,700 ready-to-eat meals as well as logistical and telecommunications equipment are being delivered, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program.

“The needs remain enormous,” Verhoosel said.

No official figures were available, but much of the population of Marsh Harbour, home to most of the roughly 20,000 residents of Abaco, seemed to have already left. Many were staying with relatives in the capital, Nassau, others with family in Florida and other parts of the United States.

In Marsh Harbour’s Murphy Town neighborhood, on a hill overlooking the azure sea, Jackson Blatch and his son-in-law were already rebuilding. In a blazing midday sun they stripped damaged shingles from Blatch’s roofs and tossed them into his truck, parked below the eaves of a home he built by hand.

Insurance payouts for Abacos could be $600m


Deputy Chief Reporter

COMPLETE restoration in Abaco will take a "massive" effort, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has said, adding insurance payouts in the hurricane devastated islands could be between $500m-$600m.

While Mr Ingraham told reporters he did not know how long it could take to rebuild Abaco, he said there were "several low hanging fruits" that could work to the advantage of the island.

"The vast majority of that will be money spent back to restore Abaco," Mr Ingraham said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"You know there was a hurricane in Grand Bahama where I think that the amount of money paid out was more. About $100m of that was for the Grand Lucayan hotel but that hundred million dollars went straight back to China where it came from in the first place.

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