Hurricane Maria: 'We have lost all that money can buy' says Dominica prime minister

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit claims that there is 'widespread devastation' on the former British colony, the island of Dominica, just hours after he was rescued from his residence

19 September 2017, 10:07am
Satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing hurricane Maria
Satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing hurricane Maria
90 minutes after Maria was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, the centre of the storm passed almost directly over Dominica, with winds reaching up to 150mph, with the higher gusts, according to the US National Hurricane Centre reported.

Skerrit posted live updates of his own roof being torn off by the storm, saying he was “at the complete mercy of the hurricane”, writing, in a Facebook post that “we have lost all that money can buy”.

He went on to say: “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”.

Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerrit records hurricane Maria's live fury (Photo: Facebook)
Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerrit records hurricane Maria's live fury (Photo: Facebook)
Hurricane Maria is moving roughly along the same track as Irma, which devastated the region just earlier this month.

Though categorized as a Category 5 storm when hitting Dominica, it has since been downgraded to a Category 4, after making landfall. However, according to forecasters, it could increase again as it moves towards Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Dominica’s PM called on the international community to help, as “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”, he said.

All ports and airports have been closed in the area and any residents near the coast have been ordered to go to authorized shelters.

Nearby island of Martinique has declared a maximum-level alert, while hurricane warnings are in place for many other places, including Guadeloupe, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands.