December 10, 2023

Tropical storm Erika: Dominica declares disaster and seeks aid

dominica_erika-3-0-0From The Guardian UK

Flooding and landslides kill at least 20 people and leave more than 50 missing on Caribbean island

Rescue teams worked to reopen roads to remote communities in Dominica on Sunday after tropical storm Erika caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 20 people and left more than 50 missing on the Caribbean island.

“Access by road to these communities is impossible,” said the prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. These towns “are cut off from the rest of the country”.

In a national address late on Saturday, Skerrit declared disaster status for nine local areas.

On Sunday the government ordered about 1000 inhabitants to evacuate from the small town of Petite-Savanne, fearing new landslides.

Erika whipped the island for more than five hours on Wednesday, bringing strong winds and intense rain that provoked flooding and landslides. Hundreds of homes were destroyed.

Crews were using heavy equipment sent by the governments of Venezuela, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Hundreds of men worked on Sunday to reopen the country’s main airport, Skerrit said.

Skerrit appealed for international aid and estimated that damage from the storm could set the country’s development back two decades.

In Haiti the storm killed at least one person in a suspected landslide. Four others died when a truck hit a bus during the downpour.

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UK sends humanitarian aid to Dominica

dominica-950x530By Dana Niland From Caribbean Journal

British ship rerouted to Dominica

The United Kingdom’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Lyme Bay ship has been rerouted to assist humanitarian relief efforts in Dominica following the destruction of Tropical Storm Erika.

The British ship is stocked with a range of disaster relief stores including bedding, shelter, torches, and stretchers, along with a Lynx Mk 8 helicopter and large supplies of fresh water.

RFA Lyme Bay is stationed in the Caribbean and acts as a first responder in the event of natural disaster in the region.

“It is clear that Dominica has borne the brunt of this storm, with a number of deaths already confirmed and hundreds of people made homeless,” said Justice Greening, Secretary of State for the UK’s Department for International Development. “Roads, bridges and health clinics have been affected and large parts of the island are without water and electricity.”

According to Victoria Dean, British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the UK Government has also committed over $460,000 in immediate humanitarian aid to the island.

IMAGE: Dominica was devastated by Tropical Storm Erika

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