Rescue teams are still trying to reach some Bahamian communities isolated by floodwaters and debris left by Hurricane Dorian. A total of at least 43 people were killed on Abaco and Grand Bahama island. Hundreds of residents on Abaco are still trying to leave the island. Nearly a week after Dorian roared in from the sea, they're waiting at Abaco's airport and dock, hoping for a seat on a plane or empty space on a ship arriving with aid.

On Sunday, WGBH News spoke with Dionisio D'Aguilar, the Bahamas' minister of Tourism and Aviation who was at the country’s main airport, Lynden Pindling International Airport, on Nassau. Below are excerpts from the interview.

What can you see happening there right now?

Dionisio D'Aguilar: As I look outside, there's just a myriad of helicopters that are going back and forth to Abaco from Nassau. It's about 100 miles away, and so it takes about 30 minutes that they pop over there and they're dropping off supplies and picking up people who want to be evacuated for whatever reason, and bringing them back here.

Here we are and probably day seven after the storm, they're finally getting to a place where there's power and air conditioning, and they can begin to slowly improve their quality of life, but it's been very traumatic. Some have suffered loss of life in their families. ... You have a group of people who have no home, have no job. ... So that compounds the problems that we are having to deal with. You know, no one could have ever trained me for this job; so it's day-by-day, and very difficult indeed.

How long have you been in government?

D'Aguilar: Well the party that I represent, we were elected in May 2017, so just over two years ago. And you know many of us — this is a small country, right, so many of us have jobs [in the] private sector, wake up one morning, decide we want to run for elected office, we run, and here we are having to deal with the greatest tragedy in the history of the Bahamas.

And people have some war stories out there. And as they were sitting on the roof of their house [for] two days or three days, some may have felt abandoned by their government, or the ability of the government to come and rescue them. ... And so, we are having to assure our people that we have this matter in hand, and if we don’t, we are certainly seeking assistance to help us get the matter in hand.

If you had a message for our local Bahamian people here in Boston, in Massachusetts, what might it be?

D'Aguilar: So my message to them would be: We need your help.

I tell everybody who can help, please help, even if it's to come home, even it's to take people into your home. … This type of tragedy needs all of us, every single Bahamian. … In one island for example, in Abaco, there are 5,000 school kids who now don't have a school. And so that is huge. In the best of times, the government is resource-challenged, and now we're in the middle of this huge calamity. There's no way that the government can solve this by itself.

We need every single Bahamian, wherever they are around the world, to see how they can help their relations, their loved ones, and to help people who have been impacted by the storm. They must have an outpouring of community spirit. … Don't sit in your silo and say, 'Boy, I'm so happy I'm not there.' This is your time, if you're proud to be a Bahamian, to stand up, and do your bit, because we need every single one of us to do our bit.

Do you have a message for people who have been to the Bahamas, who vacation there?

D'Aguilar: Even if your bit of helping the Bahamas is to come on vacation to the Bahamas, then please do that. You certainly won't be in those affected areas.

Please come and visit. Justify it in your mind by saying that I'm doing my bit to help the Bahamas by continuing to come on holiday here, and help to keep people employed, and to keep the money flowing in, so that we can use some of those resources to help our brothers and sisters in the northern part of the country.

Material from the Associated Press was used in the introduction to this report.