Following a request for assistance from the Bahamas, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated and relief, logistics and communications support are being sent by The Netherlands and by Luxembourg. In addition, the EU is mobilising €500,000 in humanitarian aid funding to assist those affected by Hurricane Dorian to address the most urgent needs for shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene.
“Hurricane Dorian has left a large trail of destruction with many casualties and leaving homes in ruins. We will do all we can to help, getting aid in to the people on the ground. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy and with the Bahamian authorities and brave first responders on the scene,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.
As an immediate first response, the EU mobilised a humanitarian expert to the Bahamas to make a first assessment of the needs last week. In the coming days, two liaison officers from the EU's Emergency Response Coordination Centre will join him to coordinate the incoming assistance.
Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, The Netherlands is providing two ships to transport food and water and Luxembourg is sending a team with a mobile satellite-based telecommunications platform.
The EU is furthermore supporting the efforts of the National Red Cross to provide urgent assistance to the victims.
The European Union's 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in close contact with the authorities of the Bahamas and Member States to monitor the situation and channel further EU assistance. In addition, the EU's emergency Copernicus satellite service is currently providing maps of the area.
Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on 1 September and is considered the strongest Atlantic hurricane documented to directly impact a land mass since records began. Around 76,000 people were exposed to tropical cyclone winds and are mostly in need of shelter, water, food and hygiene.
Hurricane Dorian affected the north-western Bahamas islands for an approximate total of 68 hours, with the southern eye-wall planted over Grand Bahama for about 30 hours. The unpredictability and unprecedented nature of this hurricane is also record-making.