As Hurricane Dorian finally begins to move away from the Bahamas, and the full extent of the destruction is revealed, Israeli humanitarian aid agency IsraAID is preparing to send vital emergency support.

So far, seven people are reported killed and about 13,000 homes damaged or destroyed on Abaco and Grand Bahama islands – about 45 percent of all the houses on the islands. Thousands of people are without shelter, often stranded by flooding, and facing food, water and medicine shortages.

“We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” the Bahamian prime minister, Hubert Minnis, told the press. “The devastation is unprecedented and extensive.”

Dorian made landfall on Grand Bahama in the early hours of Monday morning as a category 5 hurricane, and continued to batter the tiny archipeligo for an unprecedented 36 hours. Winds reached up to 295 kilometers (183 miles) per hour, making it one of the strongest Atlantic storms to hit the region.

The Israeli NGO announced yesterday evening that it will send an emergency response team to distribute urgent relief supplies, offer psychological first aid, and deploy water filters to restore access to drinking water. The team also will conduct further needs assessments in affected communities.

IsraAID reports that in 2018, its emergency response teams reached 26,300 people with safe water, psychological and community support, and relief following nine disasters in seven countries.

This year, IsraAID launched emergency missions to Mozambique, following the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai in March; and Colombia, as the country receives as many as 5,000 people per day fleeing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in neighboring Venezuela.

In recent years, the humanitarian NGO responded to hurricanes including Irma and Michael in Florida, Florence in North Carolina, Harvey in Texas, and Maria in Dominica and Puerto Rico. IsraAID’s teams are still helping communities recover in Dominica and Puerto Rico, nearly two years later.

Earlier this year, ISRAEL21c flew to Puerto Rico to see first hand how IsraAID is helping the community recover from Hurricane Maria.

Click here for information on donating to the emergency response.