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Trump says cruise ships can provide shelter to victims of Dorian

Former Marsh Harbour Fire Chief, Norwel Gordon, surveys damage on September 5, 2019, in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES/TNS

By JOHN HARNEY | Bloomberg News | Published: September 7, 2019

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — President Donald Trump on Friday night suggested that cruise ships provide shelter for Bahamians left homeless by Hurricane Dorian.

"The @USCG, @fema, and all others, along with other countries that have been helping, have been asked to move people in the badly hit sections of the Bahamas to other sections of the Bahamas that were not hit – and that are in good condition," the president wrote on Twitter, referring to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!"

But FEMA is not playing a direct role in the assistance provided by the U.S. to the Bahamas after the storm.

"As we respond to #Dorian's impacts in the U.S., our partners at @USAID @theOFDA are supporting the Bahamas with their storm response & recovery," the agency said on Twitter, referring to the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. "They are working closely with @nemabahamas to coordinate help on behalf of the entire U.S. government."

Cruise ship companies, however, including Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Norwegian Cruise Line Holding Ltd. and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, have already been involved in relief efforts in the Bahamas since the hurricane smashed into the islands, pulverizing entire neighborhoods and leaving at least 30 people dead.

"In the wake of Dorian, we're mobilizing our fleet to help those who need it," Royal Caribbean tweeted Wednesday.

"We are loading all kinds of goods into our ships – generators, water, cleaning supplies, towels and more – for direct delivery to the Bahamas," the company said in a statement.

Norwegian tweeted earlier this week that the liner Norwegian Breakaway was sailing for the islands with supplies.

The Coast Guard said in a statement Friday that its ships and aircraft had rescued 205 people since Dorian struck the Bahamas.

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