Only a few days ago Hurricane Dorian destroyed parts of Northern Bahamas. Exuma was luckily enough to be sparred, but the full extent of the devastation on the islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahamas is only just revealing themselves. So just how bad was this storm of the Bahamas? Let’s take a look at the current numbers.
Over 30 Dead
So far the official death toll stands somewhere around 30 people. However, that number is expected to rise further. Relief teams have only just begun to search the wreckage, and limited communication means it will be a few weeks before we have a final death count. Officials have sending morticians and around 200 body bags to the Abaco Island, which was hit the hardest.
Category 5 Storm
Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas will it’s full force. The storm was a Category 5 hurricane when it hit the islands. This is the highest ever records landfall for the area. Winds reached 185 mph (287 km/h). Parts of the Bahamas received up to 35 inches of rain, causing mass flooding. The storm has since dropped down to a category 1 storm, but it continues to leave destruction in its wake.
13,000 Properties Damaged or Destroyed
It has been estimated that 45% of homes on Grand Bahama and the Abacos have been severely damaged or destroyed. This is roughly 13,000 properties that are no longer inhabitable. Aerial images of the Bahamas show miles up miles of destroyed homes.
Movements of 1 mph
A major reason why Hurricane Dorian was so destructive was because it slowed down to a pace of 1 mph when it was over the Bahamas. That is slower than most people walk! This stalling lasted two days, meaning residents were in the thick of the storm for that entire time.
76,000 People in Need
Relief efforts have now begun. It’s been estimated that there are 76,000 people in need of emergency supplies on the island. Planes and helicopters have begun to fly out supplies, such as food, clean water, generators, medicine, and more. Damaged roads and airports are hampering efforts, but the Bahamian government has stated they will ramp up efforts to help the people.
How You Can Help
There are several ways people can help the victims of Hurricane Dorian. Here is how you can help:
- Donate to the Grand Bahamas Disaster Relief Fund, set up by the Grand Bahamas Port Authority. 100% of the donations will go to relief efforts and a third party non-profit will manage the funds.
- Share only reliable information online. Social media plays a huge role in the aftermath of a disaster. Facebook has set up a Crisis Response for people to mark themselves safe. However, please keep sharing of information limited and only spread trusted and accurate information. This will help both victims and authorities with their relief efforts!
- Stay away from the damaged areas. Many people with boats and planes have been flocking to the Bahamas to help with search and relief. This comes from a good place, but this can cause issues for officials trying to operate. Only join if you are trained and experienced!
- Offer hospitality, supplies, and support! Many Hurricane Dorian victims lost their homes in the storm. If you can offer housing for any victims please do so! As more times passes it should become clear what supplies are needed for victims as well. What they need right now is everyone’s support though!