People living in some of the hardest-hit parts of the Bahamas evacuated Sunday, a week after Category 5 Hurricane Dorian wrecked the islands with record-setting, sustained 185 mph winds.
Many residents say Dorian’s aftermath won’t keep them down for long.
The death toll now stands at 44 and could still rise as first responders search for victims and race to rescue stranded survivors.
CBN’s Operation Blessing arrived in the Bahamas on September 6 to begin delivering emergency aid to residents who were still stranded and unable to evacuate.
They went to several schools and local churches where people were gathering, delivering solar lamps so the people could see in the pitch-black darkness and giving them solar-powered aquifers for clean water.
Several hundred of the solar lamps were passed out to the people, offering a ray of hope during these desperate times.
Diego Traverso, director of International Disaster Relief for Operation Blessing Mexico said, “Operation Blessing is in Marsh Harbor in the island of Abaco where everything is destroyed. Houses, businesses – there is nothing left standing up. There is no electricity, there is no water. We’ve been providing clean water, solar lamps and also medical attention.”
The team doctor was able to treat 43 patients there with the most common issues being trauma and anxiety. “There is a lot of medical needs, our doctor has been taking care of that,” Diego added.
Sanitation and disease development is a serious issue on the island from the trash and flooding.
“Solutions we’ve been providing is clean water. We’ve desalinated water from the ocean and we gave fresh water to the people. We have the chlorine devices that are sanitizing the diseases. A lot of diseases can come up after these disasters,” Diego explained.
It’s difficult for residents to leave the island, but Operation Blessing continues to support the locals while they wait for evacuation to the other islands.
“The people that are left here want to leave but they can’t. They don’t have food or water. Most of the families with kids are trying to leave, but not everyone is going to be able to leave. There are few ferries, ships, and helicopters taking off and evacuating people,” Diego added.
“We are here supporting the Bahamians getting back on their feet. Please keep praying for the Bahamas,” he said.
And the aid organization plans to remain in the Bahamas to help with relief efforts.
Operation Blessing is also assessing the damage from Dorian in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. They’ve been in contact with local officials as well as some local churches, including pastors of two different churches in Cape Hatteras and Frisco.