Hurricane Maria kills 15 people in Dominica, leaves small Caribbean island without water and electricity

Hurricane Maria left more than 15 people dead in hard-hit Dominica, the small Caribbean island's prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced on Thursday.

AFP September 22, 2017 08:26:28 IST
Hurricane Maria kills 15 people in Dominica, leaves small Caribbean island without water and electricity

Miami: Hurricane Maria left more than 15 people dead in hard-hit Dominica, the small Caribbean island's prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced on Thursday.

The toll from Dominica brings the overall number of confirmed deaths caused by Hurricane Maria to 18, including two in Guadeloupe and one in Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Maria kills 15 people in Dominica leaves small Caribbean island without water and electricity

A house completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria. AP

"So far, we would have buried in excess of 15 people," Skerrit told a television network of Antigua and Barbuda, a neighbouring country. "If there (are) no other fatalities, it is a miracle," he said.

The hurricane devastated the island, which has some 72,000 inhabitants and was hit by the storm on 18 September when it was at the height of its Category Five power.

"It has been brutal. I saw almost complete devastation," said Skerrit, who has made several flights over the territory. Now, "we have no water, no electricity, very limited communications," Skerrit said. "The main hospital is functioning without electricity. It is very difficult. There are no generators, they have been set aside because of the flooding," he said.

Dominica, which is located near the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, has been almost completely cut off from the world.

Helicopter support is needed to airlift in supplies, with immediate needs ranging from food for babies and hygiene kits to generators and construction materials, the premier said. "It is worse than a war zone," said Skerrit, who himself had to to be rescued during the hurricane, which blew the roof off his residence.

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