By John Garcia and IAD staff
A powerful hurricane badly damaged or destroyed at least six Seventh-day Adventist churches in The Bahamas, local church leaders said as they struggled to assess the destruction and account for church members a week after the Caribbean disaster.
Hurricane Joaquin flooded buildings and ripped off roofs amid two days of fierce winds of up to 140 miles an hour (225 kilometers per hour) on Oct. 1 and 2. The devastation left by the category four hurricane has made it difficult to reach islands south of the capital, Nassau, and some areas are only accessible by helicopter.
No one in The Bahamas is known to have died in the hurricane, but a cargo ship with 33 sailors disappeared 36 miles (58 kilometers) to the northeast of its Crooked Island. Authorities say it will take months for the country to recover.
On Crooked Island, Adventist pastor Howard Barr and his wife, Patronella, lived in a home adjacent to the Landrill Point Adventist Church, where Barr worked. They had to flee their home as the winds intensified.