Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica has mobilised the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to be dispatched to assist the hurricane-ravaged, neighbouring islands of The Bahamas.
Holness who has pledged to support The Bahamas in the wake of the disaster has placed the DART on standby to be on the ground in Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two worst-hit areas.
According to a statement today, the Prime Minister has reportedly been in constant touch with the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Hubert Minnis, who indicated that Bahamian officials are currently doing their assessment. Once the initial assessment is complete Jamaica will be able to provide assistance, the statement said.
“The hurricane has been pounding The Bahamas since Sunday September 1, slowly meandering across the islands. Officials have reported the death toll at five, and there have been loss of electricity and extensive damage to infrastructure,” he said.
“DART, which consists of members of the Jamaica Defence Force, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and other response agencies will help to address issues of need in search, rescue, assessment and restoration of infrastructure damage, offer relief supplies and assist in rebuilding efforts,” Holness added.
In the meantime, the statement said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been in constant contact with the consulate in The Bahamas and is updated on the Jamaican population resident on the islands.