Tyler Perry (L), Ludacris offer support

 

BBC- The Dorian death toll in the Bahamas has risen to 43, with that number expected to rise further.

As Hurricane Dorian moves from away from the Bahamas, efforts to clear up the devastation it has left behind are now underway.

About 13,000 properties were severely damaged or destroyed leaving thousands of people homeless.

The nation’s government has warned the death toll will be “staggering” and aid efforts are being stepped up.

Countries, individuals, charities and organisations have pledged aid and support.

Among them the US Agency for International Development and Britain’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary have delivered food and water to those in need.

Among the acts of kindness from members of the public, the generosity of Jermaine Bell is probably one of the most heart-warming stories so far. The six-year-old used the money he had saved up to go to Disneyland for his birthday to buy food for Hurricane Dorian evacuees passing through his South Carolina town.

When asked why he wanted to help others he told WJBF news he wanted to “be generous and live to give.”

His mother Lauren Creech told the BBC she wasn’t surprised by her son’s wish to help: “He spent a couple hundred dollars on supplies. It wasn’t too much of a surprise because he is such a loving child.

“I am extremely proud and happy that he is practising our core values. Makes me one happy mum.

“With him having a birthday this time of year we always have to have to conversation about safety and possibly evacuating, so to see that he wanted to help was great,” she said.

Meanwhile, CNN reported a Florida man who wishes to remain anonymous spent more than $49,000 on electrical generators and household goods to be shipped to the Bahamas.

Alec Sprague posted a picture of the man buying the generators on Facebook: “Was just in Costco… getting a generator (at $450 each) and this guy right here is purchasing over 100 generators and food to send to the Bahamas! All I could do was shake his hand and thank him! There still are good people in the world!”

What is the latest on the aid effort?

International aid operations have been primarily focused on Grand Bahama and the Abacos.

Search-and-rescue teams have been combing the worst-hit communities looking for any trace of survivors and bodies. As of Thursday, the US Coast Guard said it had rescued 201 residents.

Meanwhile, efforts to deliver aid are being ramped up. Planes and helicopters have been flying in emergency supplies to help the estimated 76,000 people in need of food and shelter.

Eight tonnes (8,000kg) of ready-to-eat meals, storage units, generators and other emergency suppliers are to be flown in from Panama, the UN World Food Programme said.

A $5.4m (£4.3m) budget has been allocated to the UN agency for a three-month emergency operation in the Bahamas.

A number of celebrities have also promised to help including TV producer and actor Tyler Perry who called himself “an adoptive son” of the Bahamas.

“As soon as I can, I will be there to do whatever I can to help you rebuild stronger and better,” he posted on Instagram.

Atlanta rapper and actor Ludacris has pledged over $100,000 from his annual Labour Day weekend event.

Some of his 11 million Instagram followers used the hahstag #ludacares to express their appreciation.

“Thank you, we in the Bahamas appreciate it very much,” replied one grateful Instagram

Entrepreneur, and star of Real Housewives of New York, Bethenny Frankel has also been fundraising and documenting the relief effort she is involved in on her Instagram story.

She told CNBC her organisation has raised more than $750,000 so far. “We have a warehouse on the ground, collecting the nations relief to be distributed by barges. Today we have four flights… they are planes with former navy seals, they are equipped with medical care,” she said.

Meanwhile The Bahamas Red Cross Society is asking for non-perishable goods to be donated, including baby supplies, cleaning products and bedding, and the National Association of the Bahamas has appealed for monetary donations for clothes and basic toiletries.

A number of organisations in the Bahamas have also pledged donations and supplies, and in the US, companies such as American Airlines have also promised to help. In a tweet the airline said it would be sending more than 16,000 lb (7,000 kg) of aid.

Royal Caribbean cruise line and Disney have each pledged a million dollars and Airbnb is also running its ‘Open Homes Programme’ which began in 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

It is encouraging hosts in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina to open up their homes for US based Hurricane Dorian evacuees.

Hundreds Flee, Thousands Await Evacuation

Hundreds of Hurricane Dorian survivors have fled the Bahamas as thousands more anxiously await evacuation from the devastated islands.

The hurricane tore through the islands earlier this week, leaving a trail of destruction and a humanitarian crisis in its wake.

The official death toll rose to 43 on Friday, but is expected to increase further, officials told local media.

With aid efforts under way, many survivors are scrambling to evacuate.

On Friday, crowds desperate to leave amassed in their thousands at ports in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama, two of the worst-hit islands.

Frustrations mounted as survivors, carrying what few possessions they had left, complained of “chaotic” and slow evacuations.

  • Have you been affected by Hurricane Dorian? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

As Gee Rolle, 44, waited for a private boat with his wife, he criticised the government, telling the Associated Press “only animals can live here“.

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, speaking to survivors at the port in Abaco, called for calm and promised more free transport.