Jamaica has mobilised the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to be dispatched to assist hurricane-ravaged Bahamas, the Office of the Prime Minister announced Tuesday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has pledged to support the Bahamas in the wake of the disaster caused by the passage of catastrophic category 5 Hurricane Dorian, and has placed the DART on standby to be on the ground in Abaco and Grand Bahama, the two worst-hit areas, the OPM said in a news release.
According to the OPM, Holness has been in constant touch with Bahamian Prime Minister 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 OPM said.
Holness, the release added, has also offered condolences to the Government and people of the Bahamas on the lives lost as a result of the hurricane.
Hurricane Dorian has been pounding the Bahamas since Sunday, 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.
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.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reportedly been in constant contact with the consulate in the Bahamas and updated on the Jamaican population resident in the Bahamas.
Holness has also urged Jamaicans to continue to pray for the people of the Bahamas and stand ready to help when the assessments are complete.