After battling Category 5 Hurricane Dorian for nearly 40 hours, the islands of the Bahamas have seen devastation in every form: the loss of lives and homes, and flooding virtually destroying the land.

Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA are accepting donations to assist in the relief effort. Working with local partners, the organization is assessing immediate needs that donations will help with – food, emergency shelter and safe water.

To donate to assist families and people affected by the storm, visit www.crs.org or www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.

“Let’s not forget to pray for the victims of the hurricane,” said Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

As of Sept. 5, at least 23 people have been found dead from the storm in the Bahamas, according to published reports.  Airports on the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama are closed and roads are impassable, making it difficult for rescue crews to reach survivors.

According to the Associated Press, about 45 percent of the 13,000 homes on the two islands are either severely damaged or destroyed.