Erika strikes deadly blow in Dominica

USAID, nonprofits, European and Caribbean countries respond to devasted country

August 31, 2015

Many homes and other buildings were destroyed by flooding when Tropical Storm Erika hit Dominica.
Credit: Government of Dominica

Cleanup continues following the deadly Tropical Storm Erika, which devastated Dominica last week. At least 20 people were killed and more than two dozen were reported to be missing. Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica's Prime Minister said Friday evening, hundreds of structures had been destroyed.

"The extent of the devastation is monumental. We have, in essence, to rebuild Dominica," he said in a televised statement. Approximately 15-inches of rain fell on the island of 72,000 people.

Several European and Caribbean countries and the U.S. announced they will be providing aid to the island. USAID said it will be providing storm-related relief supplies worth at least $50,000.00. France made a helicopter available to transport survivors and relief supplies, the UK is sending a ship with supplies and Grenada plans to send food and medical supplies this week. Food for the Poor, a Florida-based nonprofit, announced Monday it was shipping relief supplies to Dominica.

The remnants of what was Tropical Storm Erika, will continue to drench the southeastern U.S. coast from Florida through the Carolinas leading to predictions of flash flooding and local travel delays.

Following Erika, for the first time in more than 100 years, Cabo Verde, an country of 10 islands just west of Africa, has been hit by an Atlantic hurricane.

Hurricane Fred, a category one storm hit the islands Monday night and Tuesday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the last time Cabo Verde was struck by a hurricane was in 1892.

Cabo Verde includes 10 volcanic islands, nine of which have residents. Forecasters said those residents should expect coastal flooding and mudslides.

Cabo Verde, formerly known as Cape Verde, was cited by the United Nations for its political stability. Cidade Velha, one of its towns, was the first European settlements in the tropics during the 1400's. Approximately half a million people now live on the islands.

Fred is expected to weaken after it moves westward and is not expected to impact any other countries.

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