A Riverside-based nonprofit is working to distribute fuel to residents of the Bahamas stranded and in the dark in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, with staff Monday asking anyone with the means to make a donation to the effort.
“When people think about immediate needs after a major disaster, they generally think of shelter, food and water,” according to a statement released by the Fuel Relief Fund. “But without fuel, homes and evacuation shelters have no light, food can’t be refrigerated and cooked, and water can’t be pumped or treated.”
According to the nonprofit, volunteers arrived in one of the hardest- hit impact zones — Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island — at the end of last week and began coordinating with other nonprofits and the Bahamian government for fuel deliveries from the U.S.
About 600 gallons of petrol procured by the Fuel Relief Fund have been distributed so far, directly benefiting nearly 350 people, representatives said.
“This will not even come close to being enough,” according to the nonprofit. “We need tens of thousands more gallons of fuel to reach those in need.”
Dorian, a devastating category 5 cyclone, slammed into the Bahamas on Sept. 1 and stalled over the island chain for two days, resulting in nearly 50 confirmed deaths and an estimated $3 billion in property damage, knocking out electricity, flattening homes, flooding roads and piling debris throughout the popular Caribbean vacation destination.
Thousands of people have evacuated Greater Abaco Island.
The World Food Programme estimated more than 70,000 hurricane victims require food and shelter.
The Fuel Relief Fund deploys volunteers to all parts of the globe after disasters. About this time last year, the nonprofit was in North Carolina, distributing fuel to hundreds of families and first responders contending with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Donations to the Fuel Relief Fund can be made at http://fuelrelieffund.org/ .