As the rapidly intensifying Hurricane Maria took aim for Dominica on Monday night September 18th, 2017, the island’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit took to social media to provide live updates.
“We do not know what is happening outside. We not dare look out. All we are hearing is the sound of galvanize flying. The sound of the fury of the wind. As we pray for its end!” shortly before 9pm
“Certainly no sleep for anyone in Dominica. I believe my residence may have sustained some damage.” shortly after 9pm
He followed shortly with:
Rough, Rough Rough
What followed about 1hr later is reflective of what scores of people just one week earlier in islands to his north had experienced during Hurricane Irma:
“My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.”
He followed that shortly after with: ” I have been rescued.”
At about 1:20am the Prime Minister shared the following more detailed account:
Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.
So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside.
Come tomorrow morning we will hit the road, as soon as the all clear is given, in search of the injured and those trapped in the rubble.
I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating…indeed, mind boggling. My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured.
We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.
It is too early to speak of the condition of the air and seaports, but I suspect both will be inoperable for a few days. That is why I am eager now to solicit the support of friendly nations and organisations with helicopter services, for I personally am eager to get up and get around the country to see and determine what’s needed.
Hurricane Maria made landfall directly on Dominica as a Category 5 Hurricane. Radar data from Martinique and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft reports indicate that Maria made landfall on Dominica around 9:15 PM AST (0115 UTC) with estimated winds of 160 MPH (260 KM/H).
Dominica is a mountainous rugged island, that is home to just over 70,000 people.
The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA – Bahamas, (NEMA), has communicated that it is monitoring the progress of Hurricane Maria.