Hurricane Maria cripples Dominica as it churns toward Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria has pounded Dominica with “widespread devastation” as it barrels toward St. Croix and threatens catastrophic damage to Puerto Rico.
Hurling winds of 160 mph (257 kph), Maria shredded the Dominica Prime Minister’s house overnight Monday into Tuesday and left much of the island — population 73,000 — in ruins.
“Initial reports are of widespread devastation,” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said on Facebook.
“So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is … news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”
A few hours earlier, the Prime Minister posted, “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.”
Maria is now the strongest hurricane on record to make landfall in Dominica, a former French and British colony with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and agriculture.