Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. (FILE)
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ROSEAU – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Tuesday said he intends to visit the hurricane-ravaged Houston in the United States where residents are still dazed by the battering they took from Hurricane Harvey over the weekend.
“I wish to express my empathy and solidarity with the government of the United States of America and more particularly, the residents of the state of Texas, Houston more specifically,” Skerrit said, describing the situation as “a catastrophic disaster which took place in Texas.
“We know very well in Dominica the extent of dislocation, the extent of damage that these natural disasters can cause, and just almost exactly two years ago, we suffered a similar fate.”
Skerrit said that when he looked at the thousands of families that have been affected,” it really, really touches my heart as a world citizen, and I know that we have several Dominican families resident in Houston.
“I have had the opportunity to reach out directly to some of them and to express our concern and indicated to them the willingness of Dominica to assist where we can. I intend to visit Houston myself personally at the earliest opportunity to meet with Dominican residents there and to see how we can assist in restoring their lives to normalcy.”
The Dominica prime minister said that one of the things he would like to propose “is for us to reach out to our new citizens, in particular, those high-net-worth citizens and see whether we can have some fund raising drive to assist our Dominican citizens who have been affected by this tragic flooding and so forth.
“Just looking at what is on the news, it is really touching, and speaking to Dominicans who were affected, who had to be rescued by small boats and public authorities, they recounted to me the loss of their homes, their belongings, their homes are flooded completely.”
Skerrit said that he also has American friends who are resident in Houston and whom he had spoken to since the storm hit the city.
“They themselves had to be rescued indicating that they had lost everything; some of them recently bought homes. So it [is] really a tragedy and we want to express our solidarity with the President, the government and people of the United States, the Governor and Mayor of the city of Houston.
“We want to reach out to them and say that our prayers and thoughts are with them in this very difficult circumstance, and for any country, notwithstanding the size and the economy of the United States of America, no matter how small or large you are, you will be affected, and these disasters, you never know when they are coming.”
Skerrit reminded his nationals that the Caribbean is still in the hurricane season and “we in Dominica have to continue to be vigilant and the rest of the Caribbean. We are really sorry for what happened”. (CMC)