KINGSTON, Jamaica--Sandals Foundation and its parent company Sandals Resorts International said on Monday they have mobilised disaster relief efforts to help the residents of Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island in the Northern Bahamas, in the aftermath of powerful Hurricane Dorian, which slammed into sections of the archipelago on Sunday, sowing chaos in low-lying communities and claiming at least five lives.

  At the same time, the foundation and the resort chain are asking the public to donate relief supplies and have set up two collection centres to accept donations – one at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, the Bahamas, and the other at Hospitality Purveyors Inc, in Miami, Florida, for in-kind donations.

  “Monetary donations are being accepted at and 100 per cent of all funds received will go directly into recovery and rebuilding efforts,” Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of Sandals Resorts and president of the Sandals Foundation said in a press statement.

  “While the Bahamian government and first responders commence their assessment of damage and needs, initial images, videos and reports indicate significant destruction and the lives of residents uprooted,” Stewart said.

  “The news coming out of the Bahamas is heartbreaking and I imagine that even more stories of devastation will emerge as the days go by. While we can confirm that our resorts were not in Dorian’s path and were unaffected and that our guests and team members are safe, our hearts and prayers are with all Bahamians at this difficult time.

  “The Sandals Foundation is committed to providing assistance and support to our Bahamian neighbours, and I encourage everyone to help in any way they can. No donation is too small,” Stewart said, adding that among the items needed are water, non-perishable food, baby supplies such as diapers, formula, bottles, blankets and Vaseline, medicine, bug spray and first-aid resources, small radios, flashlights, batteries, non-kerosene lanterns, tents and tarpaulin.

  Updates on the relief efforts will be shared in the coming days, Stewart said.

  Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said on Monday that teams would go to Abaco as soon as possible for a full and proper assessment and identification. ~ Jamaica Observer ~