Thousands of people are in need of food and water in the Bahamas, following the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, the strongest storm on record to hit the island.
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis confirmed that at least 20 people have been killed and the full scope of the disaster on the islands is still unknown.
The prime minister added that island officials are expecting more deaths and predicted that rebuilding would require “a massive, coordinated effort.”
“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” Minnis said. “No effort or resources will be held back.”
Across the island, Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses are believed to be severely damaged or destroyed. United Nations officials confirm that at least 70,000 people on Grand Bahama and Abaco islands are in immediate need.
“It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,” said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief organization. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”
Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts Underway
As Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 5 storm, forecasters warned that the results could be catastrophic.
So far, the Red Cross authorized $500,000 for the first wave of disaster relief and other organizations are assisting as well.
The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, has just publicly made an early commitment of $1,000,000 to help with recovery efforts,” according to a company statement.
Organizations, including the Red Cross Bahamas and Bahamas Relief, are asking for donations for items such as nonperishable food items, toiletries, and baby supplies.