“It has been brutal”.
Quoted by Reuters in a press briefing today in Paris, Jacques Witkowski, France’s head of civil protection and crisis response, said: “In Martinique, reconnaissance operations are still underway but already we can see that there is no significant damage”. Two people were killed and two remained missing Wednesday, though the death toll is expected to climb.
He appealed for nearby countries to provide helicopters to help airlift critically injured patients off the island, which is home to around 72,000 people.
The Prime Minister has chose to travel to NY to speak at the UN General Assembly and garner support from the global community – a plea to assist a country with the prospect of billions of dollars worth of debt and countless lives lost.
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has offered a grant to the Commonwealth of Dominica following the passage of Hurricane Maria, and is fast-tracking a grant for the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
Jennifer Ogle, an Associate Professor of civil engineering and faculty member with Engage Dominica, said the hardest thin is not being able to get in contact with anyone on the island.
An update from the Miami-based center says maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 miles per hour (185 kph) with higher gusts.
Homes have been flattened, schools have been destroyed, telecommunications have been cut off and the island’s main hospital is still without electricity, he said.
It is the second devastating storm to hit the Caribbean this hurricane season – the first being category five Irma earlier in September.
Communication services are also very limited, leaving many families in the dark about the fate of their loved ones.
In his Facebook post early this morning, Skerrit, who had earlier posted that his roof had been torn off and he was “at the complete mercy” of the storm, before posting that the had been rescued, had indicated that Dominica had suffered “widespread damage” from the hurricane.