Hurricane Dorian Devastates Caribbean

Mary Kelley, Contributing Writer

Hurricane Dorian is the first major storm, and only the fourth named storm, of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season. As is the case for most major hurricanes, Dorian first hit Dominica, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and most horrifically, the Bahamas, as a category five hurricane.  

Devastation befell groups of people still recovering from the last two hurricane seasons, specifically Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017 which left an estimated 3,000 or more dead in Puerto Rico, as provided by a Harvard University study. 

The official death toll of Hurricanes Irma and Maria remain at 46, but this is greatly contested by Puerto Ricans and scholars alike. Two years later, Hurricane Dorian brings similar fears and heartbreak to the recovering region and the surrounding islands.  

Hurricane Dorian originally developed from a tropical wave on August 24 and later swept along the islands south of Florida for the rest of August. Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia declared states of emergency to emphasize the potential threat of Dorian, with specified areas issued orders to evacuate.

The Bahamas were devastated by the natural disaster, with the death toll currently at 45. As there is no easy way on or off the island, the actual number of casualties is difficult to discern but expected to rise.

The amount of debris across the Bahamas and the threat of powerful waves has forced individuals across the islands to relocate, further restricting evacuations and relief efforts. The islands have been ravaged, with severe flooding and winds that have destroyed approximately 13,000 homes. The main hospital was also affected by the storm and is unable to support an estimated 60,000 people in dire need of medical attention, according to New York Magazine.

In response, President Trump has reinforced the control over the waves of refugees seeking shelter and medical attention, with relief efforts happening without the President’s support.

Corporations and individuals alike are standing up for the people of the Bahamas, collecting goods and funds for current relief efforts. Disney is donating $1 million to the Bahamas for relief efforts. The city of Miami is collecting supplies at every fire station and acting as a community to support their neighbors. Florida Pilots are donating their own time to fly and drop donations off in the Bahamas. However, there is still a dire need of more supplies including baby formula, diapers, first aid supplies, water, canned food, can openers, batteries, flashlights, sunscreen, and bug spray.

If you can donate to the Bahamas and the surrounding islands, and aid in Puerto Rico’s recovery, check the link below.