News and events

News

Risk rooted in colonial era weighs on Bahamas’ efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Dorian

When Hurricane Dorian made landfall on Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas on Sept. 1, 2019, it packed winds of up to 185 miles per hour and a 20-foot storm surge. A day later, it ravaged Grand Bahama for 24 hours.

This article was first published in the Conversation

Across both islands, the storm brought “generational devastation.” Thousands of houses were leveled, telecommunications towers were torn down, and roads and wells were badly damaged.

The cost to the Bahamas has been estimated to be up to US$7 billion – more than half of the country’s annual economic output.

But not all structures and communities in Dorian’s path were equally affected.

The Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance Network, or StEER – a research group we participate in – found that while structural failure was widespread, houses intentionally built to resist high wind and storm surge fared much better

The problem is that not everyone has access to a house that can weather a storm like Dorian.

The different ways in which Abaco and Grand Bahama – and their residents – were affected by the same event is yet another example of how disaster impacts are rooted in the historical development of society.

This happens around the world time and again.

To really understand what happened in the Bahamas – and determine how it should rebuild – one needs to look back at how society has developed there.

To read the full article co-authored by Dr Ksenia Chmutina visit the Conversation website.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 19/223

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via www.globelynx.com

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2020, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 8th in The UK Complete University Guide 2020.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.


Loughborough staff, students and alumni make a real difference. They challenge convention, think creatively and find solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society today and in the future.

Meet the #LboroGameChangers at lboro.ac.uk/lborogamechangers

Categories