Eleuthera, Bahamas – In the month that is designated to celebrate the visit of Christopher Columbus on his discovery voyage to San Salvador in The Bahamas, another visitor came to the same island and wreaked havoc.
Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin brought great destruction to the islands of San Salvador, Crooked Island, Long Island, Acklins and Rum Cay. Located in the Central and South East section of the archipelagic Commonwealth of The Bahamas, these islands endured the constancy of a major storm with winds gusting to over 130 mph. Joaquin was unrelenting, moving over these low lying islands at a snail’s pace between 3-5 mph for two days.
We have learned that lives were lost (though not Bahamians) and there is severe damage from flooding and storm surge. Areas where the island natives existed by farming have been destroyed by salt water. Buildings that were previously in need of repairs and maintenance will now possibly be condemned. Both public and private buildings, schools, churches and vehicles have been destroyed.
The residents of these islands will need all the help that we can give them. From food, water, and sanitation items to building supplies, volunteers and funding. Our brothers and sisters need us to help them rebuild their lives and communities.
This is a direct and personal appeal to you to partner with us in our efforts to restore order and calm to the chaos and trauma suffered by the victims of Hurricane Joaquin.
A number of agencies have begun relief efforts even before the Hurricane left the islands. We are grateful for all those who will work in every way to provide the necessary resources and offer helping hands to assist the people in these small island settlements to rebuild their lives.
This is a first response to our partners both internationally and locally to provide information to people and agencies that you many contact and groups that you may partner with in the coming days, weeks and months to respond with the kind of help and resources that will assist the devastated areas.
As an initial first step we invite you to please contact the following persons by phone or email to see how you can help:
The Rotary Club of Eleuthera
One Eleuthera Foundation
Fishermen’s Fest (Spanish Wells)