November 4, 2015 (Baltimore, MD)— International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is responding with emergency relief to Hurricane Joaquin survivors on one of the hardest hit islands in the Bahamas. Working in cooperation with Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, in Nassau, Bahamas, a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and with local relief partner, HeadKnowles, IOCC is providing building supplies for residents of Long Island who have started to repair their homes. Blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, and cleanup buckets are also in transit to the Bahamas and being delivered to families in need on the affected outer islands.
More than 3,000 people live on Long island in the Bahamas, but not a single one escaped the wrath of 130 mph winds or nearly 24 inches of rain. Hundreds of families were stranded without shelter after forceful winds ripped roofs from their homes or reduced them to rubble. Powerful waves surged over the hard hit island, flooding the islands and washing a freighter and numerous smaller boats inland. Four weeks after the storm, electricity is just starting to be restored.
IOCC US Country Representative Dan Christopulos was on the ground last week to assess the immediate and long-term needs of the survivors. “Parts of the island were obliterated, with standing water still evident,” said Christopulos. “So many of the houses have been badly damaged or destroyed. While we help those residents who have been able to go back and undertake some of the more minor repairs, we realize that long term recovery will be needed to help Long Island families rebuild their homes and their lives after suffering so much loss from this disaster.” IOCC has also been in contact with relief partners, United Methodist Committee on Relief and Bahamas Methodist Habitat, about collaborating on rebuilds in the future with IOCC Orthodox Action Team volunteers from the US and Bahamas providing volunteer labor.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Pray for those who have suffered loss in this disaster that has impacted the Bahamas. Assemble emergency kits. IOCC also anticipates the need for Emergency Clean-Up Buckets which are in low supply. For directions on how to assemble Emergency Clean-Up Buckets, please visit iocc.org/kits.
Make a donation. You can help the victims of Hurricane Joaquin in the Bahamas with a gift to the Bahamas Hurricane Relief Fund. Your gift will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support for affected people in the Bahamas. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297-0429.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $534 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy. To learn more about IOCC, please visit our website at iocc.org.
CAPTION: IOCC US Country Representative, Dan Christopulos, surveys damage to the home of a Long Island resident. Hurricane Joaquin caused massive destruction to hundreds of homes on this tiny island in the Bahamas. IOCC is responding with cleanup and home repair assistance. PHOTO: IOCC
CAPTION: IOCC US Country Representative, Dan Christopulos, discusses the clean-up effort in Long Island, Bahamas with a representative of HeadKnowles, a local relief partner. PHOTO: IOCC
Hi-resolution images available upon request.
Rada K. Tierney