Hurricane Dorian Updates: Work Continues on Field Hospital, Relief Distributions Begin in the Bahamas

10th September 2019

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Samaritan’s Purse is mounting a significant response in the Bahamas.

Update (11:08 AM, 10thSeptember):Work continues day and night on the Emergency Field Hospital. Distributions in the Abacos are now underway. Our DC-8 aircraft is making daily flights to and from the Bahamas the rest of this week to deliver personnel and relief supplies.

Samaritan’s Purse made its first airlift of the Emergency Field Hospital to the Bahamas on 5th September, at the request of the World Health Organization and the government of the Bahamas. A second DC-8 airlift of hospital components (our third total relief flight) was sent on 6th September.

Our teams are working around the clock to set up the Emergency Field Hospital in preparation for receiving patients very soon.

A large team of medical specialists, including doctors and nurses, and other experts were on the Sept. 5-6 flights to help set up the mobile hospital.

The 40-bed facility will have an outpatient department and emergency room, equipped to serve up to 100 patients a day. There will be an operating room—with capacity for 10 surgeries per day—and an obstetrics ward with delivery room.

On 4th September we sent more than 30 tonnes of emergency relief to the Bahamas aboard our DC-8 aircraft. More than a dozen disaster response team specialists were also onboard.

In total, Samaritan’s Purse now has 80 staff members on the ground in the Bahamas.

The first plane load left Greensboro, North Carolina, around 9 a.m. on Sept. 4 and arrived in Nassau where it was unloaded. Onboard were emergency shelter materials, household water filters, and two community filtration units that turn saltwater into drinking water. Reports say 70,000 people are homeless following the storm.

Samaritan’s Purse is also using a small plane and helicopter to support our work on the islands and to allow team members to access hard-to-reach areas.

“Families in the Bahamas are suffering and millions of others are bracing for Dorian’s impact as the storm continues to move,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “Please join me in praying for everyone affected by this hurricane, and for our teams as we respond in Jesus’ Name.”

Hurricane Dorian made multiple landfalls in the Bahamas on Sept. 1, packing maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, with gusts up to 225 mph. The then-Category 5 storm stalled over the archipelago for almost two days, devastating the Abaco Islands (Elbow Cay and Marsh Harbour) and Grand Bahama. Reports indicate that around half or more of all homes were damaged or destroyed in some areas.

Emergency rescues continue across the islands. The death toll has climbed to 45 and will likely continue to rise. Hundreds are missing.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” said Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history.”—Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis

Before it turned to the U.S. coastline, Dorian crawled through the Bahamas as perhaps the fiercest storm to ever hit the islands. This is the fourth consecutive year that a Category 5 hurricane has formed in the Atlantic—a record without precedent.

Please pray for residents of the Bahamas as they begin a long recovery after this terrible storm.

On 4th September teams unload the Samaritan’s Purse DC-8 aircraft in the Bahamas with critical supplies.

Note: This article was originally published on 30th August and has been revised and updated from 31st August – 10th September.

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