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Reuters: Top World News

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

News Update - Hurricane Maria

RED APPLE RADIO STATION NEWS UPDATE


CDEMA has released aerial footage of the effects to Dominica after #HurricaneMaria


source:  CDEMAThe Guardian :  Wednesday 20 September 2017 : 05.10 (BST)  

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UPDATE:  09:04 (EST) - 20TH SEPT 2017

As per a Facebook post:

Sept. 20, 2017 – This is Hartley Henry – Principal Advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica.

It’s 4 30am and I just spoke with Prime Minister Skerrit via satellite phone. He and family are fine. Dominica is not!! Tremendous loss of housing and public buildings. The main general hospital took a beating. Patient care has been compromised.

Many buildings serving as shelters lost roofs, which means that a very urgent need now is tarpaulins and other roofing materials.

Little contact has been made with the outer communities but persons who walked 10 and 15 miles towards the city of Roseau from various outer districts report total destruction of homes, some roadways and crops.

Urgent helicopter services are needed to take food, water and tarpaulins to outer districts for shelter.

Canefield airport can accommodate helicopter landings and it is expected that from today, the waters around the main Roseau port will be calm enough to accommodate vessels bringing relief supplies and other forms of assistance.

The urgent needs now are roofing materials for shelters, bedding supplies for hundreds stranded in or outside what’s left of their homes and food and water drops for residents of outlying districts inaccessible at the moment.

The tarmac at Mellville Hall [Airport] was not too badly damaged so the strip should be opened in a day or two for larger relief planes to land.

The Prime Minister is hoping to make contact with ABS Radio in Antigua this morning to speak directly to the outer world as to the state of Dominica and its urgent needs.

The country is in a daze – no electricity, no running water – as a result of uprooted pipes in most communities and definitely to landline or cellphone services on island, and that will be for quite a while.

In summary, the island has been devastated. The housing stock significantly damaged or destroyed. All available public buildings are being used as shelters; with very limited roofing materials evident. The country needs the support and continued help and prayers of all.

...There has been no updates since, and efforts to reach the island have so far been unsuccessful.

This morning, the government of Trinidad and Tobago announced it would offer assistance to Dominica.

“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is mobilizing to send assistance to the Commonwealth of Dominica. Currently coordination is taking place under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs. It is envisaged that as soon as it is safe, a National Helicopter Services Limited helicopter will be sent to Dominica with Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force personnel. The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard is also preparing to send a supply vessel and to take Defence Force personnel as well as supplies up to Dominica. Later today further announcements will be made as to where the public can drop off goods and supplies to be transported to assist the citizens of Dominica.”


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UPDATE:  06:15 (EST): 20th Sept 2017

Communications from the Ross University School of Medicine on the island of Dominica indicate that they have accounted for the majority of students.

''From the attendance at the 3 p.m. check-in, we believe that nearly all students are accounted for. Once we have confirmed their names and student ID numbers, we will contact each student’s emergency contact using the number recorded at their check-in a few weeks ago. ''
There is a F.A.Q set up on their website that may address concerns / questions:

Please go to : http://medical.rossu.edu/medical-school/2017/09/ALERTS-Campus-Status-Weather-Updates-and-More.cfm 


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4:45am (EST): 20th September 2017

Info coming in to Red Apple Radio Station at this time from varying sources indicate the following with reference to Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean islands.

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Dominica Amateur Radio handle user #SeirraLeeNicholasJules indicates that there are reports of death in Dos D’Ane, identity of the 68yr old female is yet to be released.

Four persons are unaccounted for an it is not known if they were swept away in the floods.

Vielle Case police station completely destroyed.

Marigot and Colihaut police stations are still without communication – status unknown

95% of roofs in the Mahaut and Portmouth areas are gone.

Majority of road ways are blocked.

Communications are still down island wide.


*Please note that all info above has been provided and circulated by members of the Dominica Amateur Radio*

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There is a website/app set up for persons wishing to find loved ones and where able, to provide information on current needs/safety concerns. Please go to http://maria.fallback.network/

According to this post on Twitter by the Head of UK Taskforce on hurricanes Irma and Maria – Chris Austin, ‘’the mountainous and volcanic terrain of Dominica will provide a challenge for the relief effort.’’

(see full video here- https://twitter.com/DFID_UK/status/910420701156397056 )

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News from Martinique via the Caribbean Tourism Organisation indicates that : Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport has now opened and is fully operational.

The Airport Management Team of Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport informs all passengers that the airport is opened for traffic.

No damage was reported to the airport infrastructure as Hurricane Maria hit Martinique as a category 4 Hurricane.

Passengers are however urged to contact their respective airlines for flight information.

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A Hurricane Warning is still in effect for:
  • US Virgin Islands
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
  • Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Southeastern Bahamas
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