Dominica Hurricane Maria Update 22 September 2017
As most of you will know, parts of the Caribbean have been rather battered by the recent spate of hurricanes. The latest and most vicious was Hurricane Maria, which started hitting several of the islands earlier this week and then caused massive destruction as it moved north.
The island of Dominica was particularly badly hit. The island is beautiful and stunning, but it is one of the poorest in the region, with a limited infrastructure even at the best of times. Reports coming in indicate many houses and buildings have received significant damage, including the main hospital. The main airport was damaged but is expected to open to emergency flights soon. The port at Roseau was also damaged, but the wreckage of boats is being cleared so it can open soon.
Sadly there have been some deaths as a result a result of the hurricane. Currently in single figures, but this might rise as more information becomes available.
Most of the neighbouring islands are trying to assist with essentials and this is now arriving. Unfortunately, there are reports of looting. Without condoning this, I personally understand the need for food and water. I might be less understanding on trainers, or electrical goods when your house has neither walls or even a socket. A curfew is currently in place from 4 pm to 8 am, and this is being reviewed frequently.
Some video interviews about the current events in Dominica can be found on the Observer Media Group’s Facebook page.
At Chic, we send our sympathy to those who have suffered. We have taken the decision not to send guests to the island until at least next January 2018, probably even later. (The UK Foreign office has endorsed this decision, indicating only travel if essential). Frankly we think visitors will hamper rather than assist any attempts to rebuild, plus of course, we do need to accurately judge the ongoing impact on facilities. My colleague Marie-Helene (MH) has family on the island – shaken, stirred but all safe and resolute, so we receive regular updates on both a professional and personal level.