Reports are not really coming in from Dominica yet, as communications are going to be down for awhile on the island after it was hit by Hurricane Maria. However, it’s pretty likely Dominica was devastated, similar to Barbuda, St. Martin, and Anguilla.
Dominica (often confused with the Dominican Republic) is a small island in the Eastern Caribbean situated between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The population is about 72,000 people, so it’s larger than Barbuda and Anguilla, but it’s a bit smaller than Saint Martin. It does not really have the size or infrastructure to withstand a direct hit from category 5 hurricane.
In 1979 Dominica was hit by Hurricane David, also a category 5, and the island was essentially destroyed by the storm at the time. 80% of the island’s homes were ruined and the crops were wiped out. I expect the damage to Dominica to be similar when communications are restored.
Some bits of news did trickle out of the island last night. The Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, had been attempting to wait out the storm at home, and unfortunately he had his roof torn off and had to be rescued:
Dominica’s prime minister says he has been rescued after the roof of his residence was lost during Category 5 #Maria
The latest from the Prime Minister’s Facebook account:
As Hurricane Maria smashed into Dominica on Monday night, the prime minister of the tiny Caribbean island provided harrowing live updates on Facebook.
“The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God!” wrote Roosevelt Skerrit in a series of posts.
“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!,” he wrote.
“Rough! Rough! Rough!” he posted around 9 p.m. Eastern, and minutes later: “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.”
Nine minutes later: “I have been rescued.”
There were no immediate reports of injuries, but there were unconfirmed reports that the roof had been blown off the island’s main hospital.