Christians respond after 'catastrophe of historic proportions' in the Bahamas

Samaritan's Purse has sent 30 tons of emergency items, including material for temporary shelter and water filtration units, to the Bahamas(Photo: Samaritan's Purse)

Christians are on the ground in the Bahamas offering spiritual counselling and practical assistance after Dorian left a trail of destruction. 

Swathes of the islands have been left in ruins after the hurricane swept through with winds of up to 185 mph.  At least 43 people were killed and around 70,000 people are homeless. 

Samaritan's Purse has airlifted an emergency field hospital and medical team to the Bahamas at the request of the World Health Organization and the Bahamas government.

The mobile facility has 40 beds but can support the care of up to 100 patients daily, and houses an operating room as well as obstetrics ward with delivery room.

The humanitarian organisation, led by Franklin Graham, said that the people of the Bahamas had been left in "desperate straits" after Dorian.

An estimated 70,000 people are homeless after Hurricane Dorian(Photo: Samaritan's Purse)
The Samaritan's Purse team worked through the night to erect an emergency field hospital that can treat up to 100 people each day(Photo: Samaritan's Purse)

Since the category 5 storm made landfall a week ago, Samaritan's Purse has dispatched 30 tons of emergency items, including material for temporary shelter and water filtration units.

Over a dozen disaster relief team specialists have also been sent to the islands who are working with church partners to determine the areas of greatest need.

"Families in the Bahamas are suffering.  Please join me in praying for everyone affected by this hurricane, and for our teams as we respond in Jesus' name," said Graham. 

Dorian is reported to have been the strongest storm ever to hit the Bahamas.  

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains have been deployed to the islands to offer emotional and spiritual care to those grieving the loss of loved ones, homes and livelihoods.

"It's a catastrophe of historic proportions," said Rapid Response Team Assistant Director Josh Holland. 

The Salvation Army said that transportation had been a "huge challenge" in the aftermath of the storm, with many roads blocked, badly damaged or submerged under flood waters. 

The Salvation Army corps in Freeport was partly damaged but has managed to remain operational thanks to a generator, allowing the team there to prepare food for distribution to the emergency shelters.