Hurricane Maria Blamed for Two Deaths in Guadeloupe

Heavy flooding has been reported in Guadeloupe. (Photo credit: BBC Weather/Twitter)

BASSE-TERRE, Guadeloupe, Wednesday September 20, 2017
– Menacing Hurricane Maria is being blamed for two deaths on the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe, after devastating neighbouring Dominica.

According to the officials, one of the victims was killed yesterday morning by a falling tree, after not heeding orders to stay indoors. The Associated Press reported a second death today.

Two other people are reported missing after their boat sank off Desirade, the easternmost island in the French territory’s archipelago.

Heavy flooding has also been reported across the island.

Guadeloupe’s Préfecture office has reported that Pointe-a-Pitre and coastal areas around the capital, Basse-Terre, have been left under water; most of the island’s roads are impassable because of downed trees and flooding; and while the majority of the buildings remain structurally sound, numerous roofs were ripped off.

It added that 80,000, or 40 percent, of the homes on the island were without power yesterday.

The airport is scheduled to reopen to commercial flights today.

Meanwhile, Saint Martin, already battered from Hurricane Irma two weeks ago, escaped Maria’s fury.

French Overseas Territories Minister Annick Gardin told Reuters there was “no major extra damage”.

“At this stage, nothing alarming,” she added.

Maria passed about 100 to 150 kilometres from the island’s coast, causing “strong winds and rain” but no major extra damage, Gardin said.

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