Hurricane Dorian, a category 5 storm, the biggest storm ever to make landfall in the Bahamas, left a path of destruction in its wake. Entire neighborhoods flattened and at least 50 lives lost, a figure likely to increase as search and rescue continue.
Michael Jordan visits the islands regularly and donated $1 million to Bahamas Hurricane Relief. In a statement posted on social media on September 10, Estee Portnoy, manager/spokesperson for Jordan said he was devastated by the destruction caused by the storm.
Statement From Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/JIcPGE8y2C
— Estee Portnoy (@esteep) September 10, 2019
Jordan’s statement reads:
I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently. My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones.
As the recovery and relief efforts continue, I will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify non-profit agencies where the funds will have the most impact.
The Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm.
Dorian made landfall on Sunday, September 1 with winds of 220mph, leaving large areas of Greater Abaco destroyed and forcing more than 2,500 people to evacuate.
Dorian lingered for two days, continuing its destruction and hampering evacuation and search and rescue efforts. By Monday, September 9, the official death toll stood at 50, with 42 deaths on Abaco Island and eight on Grand Bahama, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, as per ABC News.
As the teams continue searching through rubble it is likely the number will increase. Bahamian Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told ABC News it’s possible some people were washed out to sea and might never be found.
According to Mark Lowcock, UN humanitarian chief, 70,000 people ‘are in immediate need of life-saving assistance‘. The most urgent needs being water, food, shelter and accommodation. According to Bahamian emergency management officials food distribution was a big challenge.
As is often case after such destruction of infrastructure, the drinking water in some areas of the islands is deemed unsafe for consumption and hygiene purposes.
The Guardian reported that the Bahamas government confirmed more than 900 members of its police and military were on Abaco and Grand Bahama helping with hurricane relief, joined by more than 100 Jamaican security personnel. Security forces from Britain and the US were also involved in search, rescue, and recovery operations.