Nestled between Martinique and Guadeloupe, the beautiful island of Dominica bore the brunt of Erika’s fury as the tropical storm cut a devastating swath across the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, 26 August.
The storm unleashed about 11 hours of constant rainfall and wind on the island turning it into a deluge, devastation and carnage, leaving 20 confirmed dead, about 50 missing and close to 90 per cent of homes and infrastructure damaged.
Most of those still missing are in the mountainous Petit Savane region on the south east of the island.
The scope of the devastation was reflected in a speech by the country’s prime minister, Roosevelt Douglas: “Floods swamped villages, destroyed homes and wiped out roads. Some communities are no longer recognizable.”
Other reports stated that the recently renovated international airport remained closed and partially under water for several days. Skeritt was also quoted as saying that the damage will set Dominica back two decades, and preliminary estimates place the cost of repairing infrastructure in the tens of millions.
In reaching out to the 72,000 Dominicans, the prime minister says: “We have, in essence, to rebuild Dominica.”
Dominicans in the city are rallying to help.
Ketlyn Maitland, president of the Dominica Island Cultural Association of Montreal says, “Our heartfelt sympathies go out to fellow Dominicans who lost family and friends who succumbed to this terrible tropical storm “Erika.”
And she invited all Montrealers to attend the Dominica Disaster Relief Meeting at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 6th at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Hall, 1950 St. Antoine Street West, Montreal (Walking distance from Metro Georges Vanier).
She also advised that relief supplies can be dropped off daily at BROSSARD BAGEL, 8265 TASCHEREAU Blvd. West, BROSSARD QUEBEC from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.