Hornets owner and six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan is pledging $1 million to organizations assisting with Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas.
Jordan said in a statement Tuesday on Twitter through his spokeswoman Estee Portnoy that he's "devastated" at the destruction in the Bahamas, adding "my heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones."
Jordan, who owns property and frequently visits the Bahamas, says as the recovery and relief efforts continue he will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify nonprofit agencies where the funds will have the most impact.
Jordan added that "the Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm."
DEATH TOLL CLIMBS
It comes as Bahamanian authorities have updated the death toll from Hurricane Dorian to 50 with the number expected to climb, local media reported, as thousands are evacuated from the archipelago's hardest-hit islands.
Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson said 42 deceased persons on the island of Abaco and eight on Grand Bahama had been recovered as of Sunday, in an article published in The Nassau Guardian.
"We anticipate the discovery of more deceased persons, as the process of search and recovery progresses," he said.
The news comes as the UN's International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported "particularly startling" devastation in places like Marsh Harbour in the Abacos, particularly in its shantytowns.
"Communities such as The Mudd and Pigeon Pea, where 70 per cent of informal housing in Abaco existed, and where an overwhelming majority of Haitian migrants resided, has been decimated," it said in a statement.
"The Mudd is gone," said IOM's Brian Kelly, who is leading the UN Disaster Assessment and co-ordination team in the area.
The Haitians migrants "are in a very tough situation, just as many of the Bahamians," he said.
Some 90 per cent of housing and infrastructure is damaged or destroyed on Abaco, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement, reporting thousands of houses levelled, telecommunications towers down and roads blocked.
Approximately 76,000 people were affected by Dorian, the IOM said, citing official reports. Of these, thousands have been evacuated and about 860 are in emergency shelters in the capital city of Nassau.
"The rest of the people remain in the affected areas," said Vynliz Dailey, IOM assessment mission officer.
An estimated 5000 people had been evacuated by the Bahamas, the WFP said, citing data provided by the government.
The organisation said it had distributed 1000 tarpaulin coats to serve as temporary roofs for destroyed homes in Marsh Harbour while the World Food Programme said it had passed out more than 1500 ready-to-eat meals, after offloading 13,800 at Marsh Harbour.