Hurricane Dorian Roundup: Field Hospital Opens, Relief Distributions Ongoing in the Bahamas

September 11, 2019 • Bahamas

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

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Please see a new story on relief sent to the Abacos and another new article on our Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Please continue regularly visiting samaritanspurse.org for future articles on our Hurricane Dorian response. Our Dorian landing page is also a great resource featuring a video and slide show.

The article below will no longer be updated after Sept. 11.

Update (10:47 a.m., Sept. 11):

Our Emergency Field Hospital in Freeport is up and running. We received more than 90 patients on our first full day of operation (Sept. 10). Distributions of emergency items (shelter plastic, water filters, and more) continue in the Abacos. 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 is using airplanes, helicopters, barges, and other modes of transportation to quickly move relief where it’s needed most.

Samaritan’s Purse made its first airlift of the Emergency Field Hospital to the Bahamas on Sept. 5, 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 Sept. 6.

Our medical team is now treating patients in the Bahamas. Our medical teams are now treating patients in the Bahamas.

Our medical team is now treating patients in the Bahamas.

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 Sept. 4, we sent more than 30 tons 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 nearly 100 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.

  • An aerial view of our Emergency Field Hospital in the Bahamas.
    An aerial view of our Emergency Field Hospital in the Bahamas.

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 50 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 Sept. 4, teams unload the Samaritan's Purse DC-8 aircraft in the Bahamas with critical supplies.

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

Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 30 and revised and updated regularly through Sept. 11.

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Hurricane Relief Samaritan's Purse responds to the urgent needs of families devastated by the wind, rain, and storm surge of catastrophic hurricanes. Whether in the United States or abroad, we come alongside hurting people to bring emergency relief and practical help in the Name of Jesus Christ.

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