Basketball legend Michael Jordan has pledged $1 million to hurricane relief efforts in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian caused immeasurable destruction across the country.
The hurricane was the largest storm to ever make landfall in the Bahamas, causing widespread destruction leveling entire neighborhoods that, so far, authorities say claimed at least 50 lives.
In a statement posted to social media earlier today (September 10) by his manager/spokeswoman Estee Portnoy, Jordan said he is ‘devastated’ after seeing the destruction the storm has caused.
Statement From Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/JIcPGE8y2C
— Estee Portnoy (@esteep) September 10, 2019
The statement read:
I am devastated to see the destruction that Hurricane Dorian has brought to the Bahamas, where I own property and visit frequently. My heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones.
As the recovery and relief efforts continue, I will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify non-profit agencies where the funds will have the most impact.
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.
The death toll rose to 50 on Monday, with 42 people killed from Abaco Island and eight from Grand Bahama, according to the Royal Bahamas Police Force, as per ABC News.
However, as teams continue to search through the rubble it is believed that number will only increase, as many bodies are feared buried in the rubble. Bahamian Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands told ABC News it’s possible some people were washed out to sea and might never be found.
An estimated 70,000 people ‘are in immediate need of life-saving assistance‘ according to United Nations humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock – with the most urgent needs being water, food, shelter and accommodation – although Bahamian emergency management officials said food distribution was a ‘challenge’.
Jordan is a Basketball Hall of Famer, whom Forbes estimates is worth $1.9 billion, noted that he frequents the Bahamas and owns property there.
Last year, Jordan donated $2 million to the Hurricane Florence relief effort in the Carolinas. The 56-year-old grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina.
Michael Jordan is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, as he was a 14-time All-Star, five-time regular-season MVP, six-time NBA champion and six-time NBA Finals MVP.