Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham has expressed sincere condolences over the tragic loss of life and tremendous damage and property losses suffered in Freeport, Grand Bahama, today as a result of a tornado strike late this morning.

He extended his best wishes for the speedy recovery for all others who suffered injury.

As the dangerous weather system continues to impact the Bahamas, the Prime Minister called on all residents, but particularly those in the north and central Bahamas, to remain vigilant and to heed all advisories issued by the Met Office.

Residents are particularly encouraged to remain indoors and in the event of severe weather to retreat to the innermost rooms of their homes.

The Prime Minister advised that NEMA is on alert and will be coordinating the Government’s response as required.

The sudden and unexpected weather reportedly impacted the Freeport Container Port and the Lucaya Marina Village in Freeport particularly severely. The Container Port has reported damage to six cranes. It is expected that the Port will be closed for a number of days as the company assesses the damage and effects whatever repairs are possible in the short term. It is assumed that when reopened, the Port will operate at a reduced capacity for some time.

The Prime Minister advised that he has cancelled his plans to attend the Tyler Perry premiere scheduled for this evening at Atlantis, Paradise Island.

Weather permitting he will visit Freeport tomorrow to assess damage and to meet with central and local Government officials on the ground.