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Tuesday 17 October 2017
Regional

15 dead in Dominica after Maria, many still missing

Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, addressed the public for the first time after Hurricane Maria hit the country.

The PM spoke live on Antigua’s ABS TV, sharing that many regional and international governments had already offered their assistance to Dominica after the Category 5 hurricane tore through the island.

During the segment, Skerrit had to pause for a moment to compose himself as he spoke about the absolute devastation that the country and its people are facing.

PM Skerrit wiped tears away from his eyes as he spoke about the needs of Dominicans, and that everyone, regardless of income level or status, was affected and Hurricane Maria’s winds and rains spared no one.

“Every part of Dominica has received a serious beating: if not by wind, then by water,” he said.

And while Hurricane Maria has officially claimed the lives of 15 people who have been buried, PM Skerrit said that there are many more reported missing and feared dead, and there are many more areas still to be reached.

Although they are expecting the death toll to climb, he added that it was a “miracle that there were not hundreds of deaths.”

He said that the main hospital's Intensive Care Unit was knocked out, and he appealed to hospitals within the region to accommodate them.

Skerrit, who himself has lost his home to Hurricane Maria, spoke of the damage and destruction caused by the storm, sharing that when the roof of his official residence collapsed, he held a mattress over his head to keep debris from hitting him.

The entire country is devastated. “Every village, every street, every person in Dominica was impacted by the hurricane,” he said.

The Prime Minister reminded viewers that he is committed to getting the help that the country so desperately needs.

“Unfortunately, we had to wait for Irma and Maria to let the world understand what we’ve been saying to them for a long time,” Skerrit added. “That we are very vulnerable.”

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