Tropical Storm Erika severely impacts the Island of the Commonwealth of Dominica
Brussels, 31 August 2015/ ECS Mission to the EU:On 27 August 2015 the small island of the Commonwealth of Dominica was struck by Tropical Storm Erika that poured out no less than 12.64 inches of rain in 12 hours. The heavy rainfall triggered floods and landslides that caused tremendous damage to the island.
Widespread and severe damage to critical infrastructure have been reported by the national emergency planning organization (NEPO), including to harbour and airport facilities, telecommunications, electricity and water utilities, roads and bridges due to land slippage, flooding and mudslides. Over twenty (20) people have been confirmed dead and dozens still are missing. Three hundred people have been evacuated and hundreds are still in disaster shelters. Nearly one hundred and fifty (150) houses are destroyed or badly damaged, and nine (9) areas have been categorized as special disaster areas. Some villages are currently isolated from the rest of the country; at least 50% of the island is still without water provision, while communications remain severely disrupted in nearly half of the Island.
Though needs assessments are still ongoing, the health facilities have been crippled. It is expected that the agriculture and tourism industry have been severely affected. The economic consequences of this catastrophe are yet to be determined.
National relief teams have been active in coordinating the distribution of relief supplies and other operations such as road-clearing and cleaning continue. Damage assessments are being conducted by the Government and will assist in evaluating and determining the quantum of financial and other assistance that will be required to weather the consequences of this violent fresh-water event.
Preliminary relief and assistance has flowed in from regional and international partners who have pledged just over $2 million USD in cash in addition to medical, police and engineering personnel and material airlifted to the most affected areas from Dominica’s closest neighbours. The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica is earnestly seeking the support of its bilateral and cooperation partners as well as humanitarian relief agencies to assist in the relief and reconstruction phases of this disaster that has the potential to take the island giant leaps backwards from the development gains it has been able to make thus far.
[Photos provided, showing destruction called by tropical Storm Erika]
For further information, please contact the Embassy/Mission of the Commonwealth of Dominica in Brusselsat 42 Rue de Livourne, 1050 Brussels, Tel: +322 534 2611, Fax: 011 322 539 4009, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.A Trust Fund has been set up to receive contributions in support of recovery and reconstruction of the Island: http://www.opm.gov.dm/?p=1058