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Dominica devastated

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

Dominica devastated

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THE NATURE ISLE has been battered by Mother Nature again. A little over two years to the day after being pummeled by Tropical Storm Erika, the island of Dominica was last night reeling from the effects of  Hurricane Maria.

The Category 5 storm slammed into Dominica in the late evening Monday, and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skeritt couldn’t escape its wrath, as strong winds blew off the roof of his official residence in the capital of Roseau.

A despondent Skeritt reached out to his regional neighbours for help late last night, even as the eye of the hurricane was directly over Dominica.

“Please let the world know Dominica has been devastated,” the Prime Minister told the Nation Online by mobile-phone link up around 11.30 p.m. Monday. “We do not know how many are dead, if any. We shall know in the morning. The hurricane is still on. We were brutalised by the hurricane tonight.”

Skeritt said he had to be rescued from his official residence by police officers after the roof to the house became an unidentified flying object, having succumbed to 160 mile per hour hurricane force winds.

“I am now in the flooded basement, but I am safe,” the Prime Minister confirmed. “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding,” he added.

Maria had been a Category 4 system most of Monday, but generated significant strength late into the evening, as it bore down on Dominica, and the French Islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Just before midnight a number of islands were under Hurricane Warning in the face of Maria’s wrath, inclusive of Guadeloupe, St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands.

Ham radio operators were also reporting last night that Maria had destroyed numerous houses in Dominica.

The damage to Dominica is especially troubling, as the nature isle is only just recovering from Tropical Storm Erika, which drenched the island with over ten inches of rain on August 27, 2015, killing 30 people and causing over EC$100 million in damage. (BA