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Photo courtesy ABS

St Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  Fifteen deaths and counting, with the toll expected to be much higher.

That confirmation from Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, in an interview with Antigua’s ABS TV about the situation in his country knocked down and left totally disheveled by Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

“We do not have the total count because we have not been to some communities, I have not been able to land in some communities and the authorities there provided me with the number of people who would have died. So far we would have buried in excess of 15 people. There is in one village 13 people missing, in another village 5 people missing, in another community two and we can say that because their homes are no longer standing, they’ve been washed by the rivers. We have not been to many villages and just going by air and looking at the situation if there are no fatalities then it’s a miracle, I am hoping to go there tomorrow morning if not this evening, especially in the Kalinago territory where the indigenous people reside, the east coast of the country. It would be a total miracle if there are no fatalities in those villages.”

An additional sixteen people are said to be missing in the communities already visited.

Prime Minister Skerrit said he expects the number to rise even more when contact is made with other more remote communities.

Devastated, destitute, craving for relief supplies to assuage their need to feed their survival instincts.

That is the sad tale Prime Minister Skerrit is relating to the world.

“Almost complete devastation in some villages, first of all every village in Dominica, every street, every cranny, every person in Dominica was impacted by the hurricane. We have no running water now, we have no electricity, we have very limited telecommunications now, by Whatsapp mainly.”

The prime minister said his experience and that of others with Maria was a traumatic encounter.

“People had to explain to me where they took shelter during the hurricane, people were just exposed to the elements of the hurricane, nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. People were hiding in the cupboards, cramping themselves in the kitchen cupboards to survive. In my case for example I had to put a mattress over my head with two police officers to prevent the falling roof from coming unto us. So there are number of people who are traumatized by this, little kids are meeting me and asking why did Jesus do that, you know, they can’t understand this situation.”

Prime Minister Skerrit said his government now has to take critical decisions about relocating people to restore their lives and livelihoods.

According to the Prime Minister, Dominica is going to need all the help the world can provide.

Ken Richards
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