Hurricane Maria devastates Dominica

Dominica Dominica is facing nation-wide devastation following the wrath of late Monday’s Hurricane Maria. 

Upon its approach to the Caribbean island, the storm had intensified to a “potentially catastrophic” category five hurricane. 

Maria is travelling approximately on the same path as Irma, and most of the nations in her track have only begun to recover from Irma’s destruction. 

Hazardous mudslides, flash floods, and storm surges have been predicted by the US National Hurricane Center, which oversees the region. 

Maria has maximum sustained winds of 260km/h (160mph), and has picked up full strength prior to being downgraded to a category four hurricane after hitting Dominica. 

All ports and airports are closed and residents in proximity of the coastline have been authorized to move into shelters. 

Maria passed directly over Dominica; a former British colony that is less than 50km long and 25km wide with a population of 72,000. 

Maria passed over Dominica at 21:00 local time (01:00 GMT Tuesday), and the Dominican Prime Minister calls the devastation “mind boggling”. 

“My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured,” he said, and called on the international community for help. “We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.” 

Roads and homes have been submerged in what is but half of the expected rainfall. 

“The phenomenon is still ongoing, it is necessary to remain in a safe place even if lulls appear,” Eric Maire warns. 

Hurricane warnings have been issued for St Kitts and Nevis, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, and tropical storm warnings have been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, St Martin, and Anguilla. 

Countries such as the French territories and Puerto Rico are preparing to be hit late Tuesday and are attempting to uphold necessary preparations and are helping their neighboring countries. 

President Trump declared a state of emergency for the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, where the military is evacuating personnel. 

Some nations with overseas forces in their Caribbean territories such as France, the US, the Netherlands, and Britain have deployed troops to bolster security. 

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale can be used to describe the severity of storms like Maria, ranging from a category one storm to a category five storm. 

Category one hurricanes are characterized by minimal damage, power cuts, and winds of up to 153km/h while category five hurricanes can destroy well-built buildings, cut off major roads, and have winds exceeding 250 km/h.