Hurricane Maria’s death toll climbs in Dominica


The Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is reporting that at least six people were killed when a powerful Hurricane Maria slammed into the island on Monday.

In fact, a state of emergency has since been declared in the island following the devastation caused by the hurricane.

In a statement yesterday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the Commonwealth of Dominica is still isolated with no means of communications and transportation connections to the neighbouring islands.

Skerrit said the French Government is sending a helicopter to the devastated country to provide assistance and facilitate the evaluation of the situation.

The prime minister said with recovery now under way, he has declared a state of emergency and a curfew from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, seven people have been confirmed dead, according to Hartley Henry, the prime minister’s principal advisor.

“It’s difficult to determine the level of fatalities, but so far seven are confirmed, as a direct result of the hurricane. That figure, the prime minister fears, will rise as he wades his way into the rural communities today — Wednesday (yesterday),” said Henry.

CDEMA Executive Director Ronald Jackson told reporters earlier yesterday that amateur radio operations said the storm had claimed six lives.

He said based on historical knowledge of Dominica and the fact that the eye of storm swept across the island from south-east to north-west, there would be “billions of dollars” in damage, with virtually every one of the estimated 70,000 population directly or indirectly impacted.

So severe is the anticipated damage that Jackson said Dominicans may have to be evacuated by sea.

Source: Jamaica Observer

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