Tropical Storm Erika kills at least 20 in Dominica


Tropical Storm Erika killed at least 20 people on the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, with dozens more missing. According to BBC, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that the floods and mudslides caused by the storm have set the country back 20 years. In Puerto Rico, Erika knocked out power to more than 200,000 people and caused more than $16m of damage to crops including plantains, bananas and coffee. Haiti and the Dominican Republic are now expecting 53mph (85km/h) winds.

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in a televised address late on Friday that hundreds of homes, bridges and roads had been destroyed. He said: “It is with heavy heart that I address you, you can well imagine the hell that it has been for me since I heard of the passing of Tropical Storm Erika and the damage it has done to our dear people and beloved country. But we all have to pull ourselves together. The extent of the devastation is monumental. We have, in essence, to rebuild Dominica.”

Erika dumped 38cm (15in) of rain.

At least 31 people on the island of 72,000 people have been reported missing, according to officials with the Barbados-based Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency.

Among the houses lost in the mudslides was that of 46-year-old security guard Peter Julian, who had joined friends after leaving work. “When I returned, I saw that my house that I have lived in for over 20 years was gone. [. . .] I have lost everything and now have to start all over again,” he said.

Other Caribbean nations have issued tropical storm warnings.

[. . .] The US National Hurricane Centre said the system was expected to move north across the island of Hispaniola – shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic – where the high mountains would weaken it to a tropical depression on Saturday.

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