All systems down: Dominica uncontactable following hurricane disaster

The Commonwealth of Dominica is in a state of emergency in the wake of the category five Hurricane Maria reaching landfall of the small island nation overnight.

Prime Minister of Dominica, the Honourable Roosevelt Skeritt, took to Facebook for help in the early hours of the morning:

“We will need help of all kinds…I am eager to solicit the support of friendly nations and organisations with helicopter services…”

Shortly following this message, the Prime Minister became uncontactable, his current whereabouts unknown, and the urgency to mobilise efforts on the ground has increased.

Following her attendance at today’s United Nations General Assembly, the Consul General for Dominica in New York, Barbara Dailey, is attempting to enact an emergency response on a global scale, and is urging help from nations, both neighbouring and otherwise:

“Dominica is a small but great nation. And we need your help. The General Assembly is a forum for nations to connect on common grounds to resolve global crises. Dominica is faced with arguably it’s biggest crises right now – and we need all the support we can get.”

Individuals and businesses are being asked to view the website dominiCARElief.org to lend their support, donation or otherwise, and the country is seeking assistance from nations around the world who can assist in recovery efforts.  Video footage has emerged from Senior Legal Counsel to the Prime Minister, Antony Astaphan, who shared his experience of the hurricane in the early hours of this morning.

The Commonwealth of Dominica is a small island nation located in the Eastern Caribbean. In 2013, the island sustained significant damage from Storm Erika. It is expected that damage to the island will far exceed previous natural disasters.