“I have nothing left here — no house, no job, no family,” said Joachin, a victim of Hurricane Dorian. Hurricane Dorian was one of the most powerful tropical storms/hurricanes to ever hit the Bahamas. The hurricane produced 185 mph winds, which is tied for the strongest wind speed of any Atlantic hurricane ever. Dorian took a few days to form, where it was at first just a large tropical wave, but after a few days, it increased in strength dramatically. Dorian took about 3 weeks to reach full capacity. First, Dorian swept over the U.S. Virgin Islands, where it gained a large amount of its power. On September 1st, Dorian had reached full capacity and was labeled a Category 5 hurricane, and was quickly on the move. Dorian touched down on Great Abaco Island, about 180 miles off the coast of Florida, and immediately started wreaking havoc.
Hurricane Dorian stalled a little bit after moving to the northern part of the Bahamas, but the damage was already done. Since then, the Royal Bahamas Police Force has recorded about fifty deaths, but the numbers are still increasing. Not only that, but roughly 17% of the entire population in the Bahamas, which comes out to be around 70,000 people, have found themselves homeless and hopeless. Patrick Oppman, a CNN reporter reported, “So many people here are living in homes that are not suitable to be lived in here in Freeport and in Grand Abaco.”
With thousands of people starving and living under inhumane conditions, along with there still being no power, citizens now have to worry about finding unspoiled food. Because food is now so valuable, there has arisen a black market for bread and other basic foods. Thousands, especially those with families, have already fled the country in search of better living conditions and food, however, there are still many trapped. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) commissioner Mark Morgan has stated that refugees who do not have the appropriate documents may still be allowed entrance into the country. However, a mass exodus from the Bahamas to the US is still not ideal.
Thousands of people are suffering from food shortages, no electricity, and not having anywhere to stay, but what can we do to help? NPR’s Jason Beaubien said, “Officials here, for instance, don’t want to be inundated with cans of green beans when what they really need is telephone poles”. Obviously food and clean water are always wanted, but for a long term solution, the best help is simply money. As victims of Hurricane Dorian continue to suffer, the Bible calls us to keep those who have been affected in prayer. “Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared” (Proverbs 3: 25-26).
If you want to financially support relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Dorian, visit Samaritan’s Purse to find more information. https://www.samaritanspurse.org
Hurricane Dorian Left about 17% of Bahamians Homeless, and Finding Refuge Won’t Be Easy, https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/10/us/bahamas-evacuations-tuesday/index.html
Chappell, Bill. “How To Help Hurricane Dorian Survivors In The Bahamas.” NPR, NPR, 11 Sept. 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/09/11/759780932/how-to-help-hurricane-dorian-survivors-in-the-bahamas.
Hurricane DORIAN Advisory Archive, https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2019/DORIAN.shtml.