Dominica’s PM says island ‘brutalised’ by Hurricane Maria

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Monday night said Dominica was “brutalised” by Hurricane Maria as it made its way across the island.

Skerrit, who had earlier reported that he had to be “rescued’ from his own residence, said in a Whatsapp message relayed by Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan that the world must know of the devastation to the island.

“Please let the world know that Dominica has been devastated. We do not know how many dead if any. We shall know in the morning. The hurricane is still on. We were brutalised by the hurricane,” Skerrit said in the message.

Astaphan himself took to Whatsapp to report that “the wind was savage, we lost the roof, my total upstairs, the ceiling collapsed, the roof is gone, I have two inches of water downstairs.

“All of my electrical features have water coming through them. It has been a horrible night. The strong winds have just stopped, I don’t know what’s in store for us,” he said, adding “it is terrible and I just hope people did not die”.

The Miami-based National hurricane Center (NHC) reported at 11:00 pm (local time) said the eye of the hurricane was moving over Dominica.

“Maria is moving towards the west-northwest near nine miles per hour (mph) and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday.  On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday night and Wednesday.”

The NHC said that Maria, the seventh hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic season, had maximum sustained winds near 160 mph.

“Maria is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane while it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.”

The storm is now 270 miles south east of St. Croix and a Hurricane Warning remains in effect for. Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba and St Eustatius, St Maarten,  Anguilla, St Lucia and Martinique.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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