As Grand Bahama continues to be battered by Hurricane Dorian, the UK humanitarian mapping charity MapAction is at the disaster coordination centre in Nassau helping to coordinate the response.
With sustained windspeeds over 160mph and gusts over 200mph, the exceptionally slow-moving category 5 Hurricane has caused catastrophic destruction in Grand Bahama and the neighbouring island of Abaco. Dorian is the strongest storm to hit the Bahamas since records began and the second-strongest ever Atlantic storm. Although it has now dropped to category 3 in strength, sustained windspeeds are still dangerously high at over 120mph, hampering rescue missions.
The MapAction volunteer team is working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Bahamas government and other partners, providing vital geospatial analysis and information in the form of maps to ensure aid gets to where it’s needed as quickly as possible. It is hoped that conditions will allow a needs assessment team to travel to Abaco and Grand Bahama shortly to conduct a survey of the situation on the ground. This is likely to take several days to complete and will be crucial in helping to coordinate the response to the situation.
Liz Hughes, Chief Executive of MapAction, said, “This is an extremely serious situation. It is unimaginable to think what it must be like to be in the full fury of a hurricane like this for such a long time. Situation maps will be extremely important in the coming days and weeks in helping the rescue and recovery process in the Bahamas.”