Hurricane Maria ‘leaves 15 dead in Dominica’

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The eye of the hurricane passed directly over Dominica (AFP)

(BBC) At least 15 people are dead and 20 others are missing on Dominica after Hurricane Maria, the Caribbean island’s prime minister has said.

It was a miracle that the death toll was not in the hundreds, PM Roosevelt Skerrit tearfully told a local television station.

He added the island is “going to need all the help the world has to offer”.

Hurricane Maria ripped through Dominica as a category four storm late on Monday, damaging hundreds of homes.

Speaking from the nearby island of Antigua, Mr Skerrit said he has spent the last 24 hours surveying the destruction caused by the powerful storm.

The island’s communication networks were shut down and its airport remains closed, he said.

Meanwhile, authorities in Puerto Rico are urging residents to seek higher ground ahead of flash flooding in the aftermath of Maria.

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