ROSEAU, Dominica, Sunday August 30, 2015 – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has declared nine special disaster areas in the wake of destruction and death caused by Topical Strom Erika.
In an update to the nation last night, he said Bath Estate (specifically Paradise Valley), Dubique, Petite Savanne, Campbell, Coulibistrie, Pichelin, Petite Soufriere, Good Hope and San Sauveur were designated disaster areas after broad consultation, and on the advice of the coordinator of the Office of Disaster Management.
He said the designation was necessary “in light of the relative severity in the loss of life and damage to property and the need for focused response, rehabilitation, and recovery”.
“The government, along with its regional and International partners, public and private sector, and civil society, is fully engaged in immediate response with a view to quick rehabilitation and recovery,” Skerrit said.
3,000 kg of humanitarian aid arrived Dominica Saturday night via airlift with the Prez Envoy Yánez. pic.twitter.com/5N6bjzxIaq
— Roosevelt Skerrit (@SkerritR) August 30, 2015
The prime minister added that the World Bank met yesterday to discuss Dominica’s plight. Government had written the Washington-based institution to trigger two financial facilities available in situations such as these, and to request that a team be sent to do a comprehensive assessment of the impact and indicate the cost of the damage and the likely impact on the economy and the country’s fiscal situation.
“The World Bank has indicated to us that, coming out of the meeting, they will send a team of engineers to Dominica, and we expect that team to arrive possibly on Monday to begin that assessment,” the prime minister reported.
Dominica was severely impacted late Wednesday and Thursday by Tropical Storm Erika which dumped 10 inches of rain on the island over a six-hour period between, flooding the Eastern Caribbean nation.
At least 20 people have been confirmed dead and more than two dozen are still missing.
Rivers overflowed, streets were turned into waterways, and there was extensive damage to infrastructure, with the main Douglas-Charles Airport, the road networks, electricity, water, and telecommunication services among the affected.
Skerrit continued his tours to get a first-hand look at the damage yesterday.
He visited Bath Estate and Paradise Valley and said assistance had been given to residents, but stressed it would take a tremendous amount of effort to return the lives of residents to normalcy.