6 confirmed dead in Dominica following Hurricane Maria death toll may rise

6 confirmed dead in Dominica following Hurricane Maria death toll may rise

By Thomson Fontaine

September 20, 2017 4:10 A.M

hurricane maria
Hurricane Maria damage in Dominica.
Roseau, Dominica (TDN) - Police Commissioner Daniel Carbon on Tuesday confirmed the deaths of at least six persons in Dominica as a direct result of the passage of hurricane Maria over Dominica on Monday.

Five of the six were from the village of Dos Dane on the North of the Island who were swept away by rising waters. Only one person, 50 year old Jennifer Moulon have been recovered. In the village of Morne Prosper an as yet unidentified male was declared dead.

More than 24 hours after Dominica was ravaged by 180 mile an hour winds from hurricane Maria at least 90 percent of the population remained isolated and cut off from the rest of the island. Authorities fear that the death toll could rise as rescue efforts get underway on Wednesday.

High winds prevented a complete aerial survey of the country and villages remained cut off by swollen rivers, numerous mudslides, and a deafening silence as the communications infrastructure was totally destroyed.

hurricane maria
Maria approaches Dominica on Monday.
Most residents were caught off guard by the ferocity of the rapidly intensifying storm and by the time news arrived of its category 5 status, the majority of residents were already cut off from their sources of communication.

On Tuesday news of the devastation began trickling out as HAM operators in the US alerted by an online radio network, tdnradio.net successfully contacted local operators.

The initial reports painted a story of a country reeling and in shock from the devastating onslaught of Maria. Packing winds of more than 165 miles an hour, Dominica’s high elevation aided in driving gusts of up to 190 miles an hour, wreaking death and destruction.

Stunned residents emerged from their damaged homes to a scene of utter and complete devastation. In the capital city of Roseau and adjoining villages more than 95 percent of homes either lost their roofs or were completely obliterated. Hundreds of mudslides dotted the landscape as uprooted trees remained strewn all over the country, even as rivers crashed over their banks flooding adjoining homes.

Meanwhile offers of assistance came from Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, countries within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Helicopters from Martinique, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago were expected to do a complete aerial survey of the Island on Wednesday to determine the extent of assistance required and whether there were additional fatalities and injuries.

hurricane maria
Hurricane Maria's trail of destruction in Dominica.

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