Hurricane #Maria death toll climbs to six in Dominica

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — 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.
The regional disaster management agency says the storm has left behind billions of dollars in damages.
While communication has been limited, CDEMA's Executive Director, Ronald Jackson, told reporters 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 southeast to northwest, 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.

According to Jackson, the agency has identified several coastal and internal communities around the island that are of particular concern, including the indigenous Kalinago community in the east of the island.

Meanwhile, Principal Advisor to Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Hartley Henry, on Wednesday relayed a message outlining the dire situation in Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Henry, who spoke with Skerrit via Satellite phone, said there's an urgent need for helicopter services to take food, water and tarpaulins to outer districts for shelter.
Henrym said the main general hospital took a beating, compromising patient care.

“Many buildings serving as shelters lost roofs, which means that a very urgent need now is tarpaulins and other roofing materials. Little contact has been made with the outer communities but persons who walked 10 and 15 miles towards the city of Roseau from various outer districts report total destruction of homes, some roadways and crops.”

Concerning the death toll, he said while it is difficult to confirm, the prime minister fears that it will

“rise as he wades his way into the rural communities today”.

Henry said the prime minister is hoping to make contact with ABS Radio in Antigua on Wednesday to speak directly to the outer world as to the state of Dominica and its urgent needs.

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