Focus is on search and rescue efforts following Erika, says PM (with photos)

A retired policeman and his wife were injured when a landslide crashed into the back of this dwelling house at Castle Comfort
A retired policeman and his wife were injured when a landslide crashed into the back of this dwelling house at Castle Comfort

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said that the immediate focus of the government following the devastating passage of Tropical Storm Erika, is on search and rescue efforts in the Petite Savanne area.

“All efforts are being placed on every person who’s missing,” the Prime Minister, who returned by helicopter from St. Lucia on Thursday evening, said in a live statement on DBS Radio.

There have been reports of numerous landslides in the Petite Savanne area with several people reported missing, others hurt and requiring medical attention and it’s difficult to reach them.

Prime Minister Skerrit said search and rescue efforts started by the French would continue on Friday.

Meanwhile the bodies of an elderly man and his two grand daughters from Good Hope who also went missing on Thursday, were recovered near the bus stop in the village.

Others reported missing include two brothers from the Bath Estate area who it is said were swept away by the river, another following a landslide in Delices and one woman was swept away by  a river in Castle Bruce.

A recently-retired police officer and his wife were seriously injured when their residence, which is located at Castle Comfort, was damaged by a landslide.

It’s a sad day for Dominica as the country grapples with the loss of life, injury and infrastructural damage inflicted by torrential rain from Tropical Storm Erika which pounded the island on Thursday.

In addition to the loss of life, significant infrastructural damage was reported in several areas of the country.

Acting Prime Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, during a live interview on state-owned DBS Radio, advised persons to “stay home” until it’s safe for them to move from one point to another.

He said the ministry will put necessary measures in place to ensure that roads are cleared following major blockages.

Meantime opposition leader Lennox Linton, who was also live on DBS, said tropical storm Erika took the island by surprise.

“This took us by surprise…it is really terrible,” he said.

Linton also advised the general public to “stay calm” and remain indoors.

“No need to be out of your homes,” he stated, stressing  that people should protect their lives first and property will come after.

Both Blackmore and Linton highlighted the need for Dominicans to put their differences aside and work together to rebuild the country.

Dominica News Online (DNO) understands that the road linking Pichlen to Grandbay has been cut off.

A lot of landslides and fallen rocks have been reported under the Canefield cliff, the Auto Trade area experienced severe floods. A number of vehicles on the compound of the business place are under water.

The Roseau River overflowed its banks causing major flooding in the City and a significant portion of the building housing the Berean Christian Academy which is located opposite the river, was washed away.

The two major telecommunications companies on the island both reported that they were working feverishly to restore service to affected areas and so was DOMLEC as a significant section of the island was without electricity for most of the day.

Prime Minister Skerrit an earlier announcement by Cabinet Secretary Steve Ferrol that public officers were not required to report to work on Friday.

“But do not stay at home and watch television, go and get involved in doing something in your community” he warned.

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64 Comments

  1. Matt Eckstein
    August 30, 2015

    A suggestion. What the smart and hard working Dominican people need now especially is TOOLS. Most importantly affordable pick up trucks. Can the government at this time have a moratorium on taxes when importing pick up trucks to help in the reconstruction?

  2. clement george
    August 29, 2015

    wowwwwwwwwwww this has brought back memories of hurricane DAVID in 1979. our prayers and sympathies goes out to all who have lose their love ones. this is absolutely heart breaking for all Dominicans. let us all pray and rise above this.

    god blessed.

  3. Views Expressed
    August 29, 2015

    This government wasted 10 years implementing bobol political activities meaning not well planned if planned at all. Any rush into fake ideas dubbed as investment is bound to fall and it took Ericka to tell us all about it. It is the same venerable people we have been trying to protect asking government for due prudence, diligence good governance and these people and Dominica now suffering.
    Tou cho …..tou flam bagay freeness……
    We are now paying for poor decisions and Hollywood style mismanagement. It has all been an act because we love our PM the so called Supremo.
    I conclude that we have wasted 10 years under this Skerrit led government
    There are better qualified and more trusted Dominicans in Dominica ably fitted to run and place our beloved Dominica on that trajectory path to sustainable and secured development
    God bless Dominica

    • winston warrington
      August 29, 2015

      You are so right! Next election we will vote for a PM who can stop the rain and the earthquakes.

      • countrygirl
        August 31, 2015

        Winston warrington I couldn’t help laughing. That’s why I will always love my people, their sharp tongue and sharper wit!!

    • September 4, 2015

      ‘Views Expressed’ but is the same ‘bobol’ you talking! NOW is not time to put these kind of words down, it is time for EVERYONE to come together and HELP the country get back on its feet. Be a little more POSITIVE. If you cannot be POSITIVE, then SHUT UP and go out and look for those who may still be missing or take FOOD and WATER to those who are more in need that yourself. God Bless Dominica!

  4. August 29, 2015

    Can anyone tell me how to find out if Mero suffered badly and if there’s a forum to get messages to people there? We were meant to be visiting my husbands elderly fathers, so we flew to Antigua yesterday but obviously now we are stranded with no way of contacting him to say we can’t get there.

  5. Tita
    August 28, 2015

    How is the people of Grandbay doing? In highland and Powell areas and further up? I haven’t seen any posts of the south city areas yet. I tried to reach some family to no avail. Can someone on those sides comment please? Thanks. May God bless you all.

  6. The Real Facts
    August 28, 2015

    As long as the world continues and there are people residing in it, there will always be disasters. No matter how much people try to protect themselves and property, disasters will still occur. What is meant to be will be.
    I could not help but think (hope this is through inspiration of the Holy Spirit), D/ca, being a beautiful country, it has become extremely divided religiously and politically with much hatred spewed from both and their supporters.
    Those who cause lack of love, peace and unity should examine their conscience. Most of it is on a religious level. Many have infiltrated D/ca stating it is to save souls and formed their own church.
    I have noted, since then D/ca, including the other islands, have become worst. There are more crimes and murders, the likes of which did not exist in D/ca and these other islands.
    Some people are not praying well and as they should. Some reject God, going about their business, living according to their desires as some others.

    • The Real Facts
      August 28, 2015

      What do you expect?
      Our Lord has taught us, “Love God and others as we love ourselves.” Many of you who claim to be religious have depicted that overall you lack love for God and for others. If you do not love your fellowmen and have respect for them, you do not love God and cannot please him.
      Consider how angry God is with those who profess to love him, Bible thumping people. as they go about hating the Catholic Church, its members and its devotions. Most of all, they detest The Mother of God, the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary who Christian Catholics rightfully honor. Do you think Our Lord Jesus Christ is pleased with you?
      Sadly, in a disaster the loving, caring ones will also be affected. However, to a certain extent, God will spare them and give them the courage to cope and rise up. These have a right to say, “Thank you God for sparing us”, be it their life.

  7. Dan Tanner
    August 28, 2015

    Dominica’s corrupt government, with approval of its childish people, squanders money on a presidential palace and sports stadium. But won’t spend on infrastructure, hospital, or schools.

  8. boom boom oxide
    August 28, 2015

    “But do not stay at home and watch television, go and get involved in doing something in your community”
    The arrogant one is still to humble himself……….we a go see. 8)

  9. Beautiful Dominica
    August 28, 2015

    No time for finger pointing, negative comments are unnecessary at this time. Everyone must come together to move the country forward. We can do it.

  10. August 28, 2015

    Much love to all my friends and family back home. may GOD bless and keep each and everyone in this time of need.

  11. August 28, 2015

    I am deeply saddened by the events that happened in my beautiful island . much love to all my friends and family, stay strong and GOD BLESS.

  12. Dominican Girl
    August 28, 2015

    Has anyone heard anything about the Portsmouth/Savanne Paille area? Please any information..

    Phones are still down, so we don’t really know what’s going on that part of Dominica. Praying that Jah guides my people. I know we will rise from this tragedy.

    R.I.P to all those who has lost their lives. Everybody just stay strong! Now more than ever us as Dominican people need to come together and help rebuild our beautiful island.

    • piglet23
      September 1, 2015

      I live in savanne paille and its ok

  13. porthsmouth
    August 28, 2015

    any word on the people of Portsmouth and Glanvilla ?

  14. Michael Smith
    August 28, 2015

    God Bless the good people of the Nation of Dominica. People with the means should, for God’s sake, send them some aid. The powers that be and the media should notify the public of the methods to do so.

  15. Brenda
    August 28, 2015

    God bless the people of this beautiful island.
    Provide for those who are in need.
    Comfort those who have lost.
    Give them a peace and joy in their hearts, that not even they can understand.

    Amen.

    I just can’t, the destruction is really heart breaking.

  16. Chakademus
    August 28, 2015

    The entire Chakademus family joins me in expressing our grief at this heavy blow. Our hearts are breaking for Dominica at this time.
    Question: What can diaspora Dominicans do to help? Please give us some guidelines as to what contributions can have the most impact and how to contribute. I’m thinking Red Cross, but please advise.

  17. truththe
    August 28, 2015

    My sympathy to all, it is indeed sad news from Dominuca. I pray Almighty God will strenghten you. I am calling on all Government, Opposition, Religious ,media to put all minds together, unite, share love to rebuild our country. My prayers are forever with you.

  18. WestNDNBeauty
    August 28, 2015

    Praying for the people of Dominica and I am so sorry to see the country devastated in this way.
    I have never seen this much damage in DA from a tropical storm. How can outsiders help? Please post links so we can make monetary donations to help aid the relief efforts. God bless you all, Virgin Mary please pray for them!

  19. Business Minded
    August 28, 2015

    Thanks DNO. But I cannot believe Angelo Allen could not leave some of his comments for a later date. If there is a time that we needed to put politics aside and come together it is now. We in the diaspora just wanted to hear about our families and not politics. Come on brother?

  20. believer
    August 28, 2015

    This is just awful, a terrible disaster.
    But we have been through worse before and bounced back. We are a resilient people
    and we will come through this.

    Good thoughts and prayers go out to all the families of the dead,, missing, hurt and
    our appreciation of all those who are working tirelessly to restore electricity, water and
    providing medical services to the injured.

    Be strong everyone.

  21. Carmen Martinez de Grijalva
    August 28, 2015

    For 12 years we lived in Dominica and along with my family, we naturally fell in love with the island. Dominica is part of us, is part of our DNA. This emergency situation has affected all of us. We pray for Dominica, and at this stage we are very concerned about the well-being of our loved ones. Dear God, we keep our dear Dominica in our prayers, and even though the conditions are rough, we know that the GREAT people of Dominica will prevail, you will win this battle. To the people of Dominica our solidarity and affection.
    Carmen Martinez De Grijalva.

  22. Hide & Seek
    August 28, 2015

    Oh how sad! My lovely country is devastated and many of my friends are feared dead. Lord help our people as they grow through this thing. May the good Lord comfort the hearts of who have lost loved ones and those severely affected by the storm.
    This is not time to be politicking, but it is worth mentioning that the Hon. PM was again out of state during another storm, while our country was being destroyed by the storm. No, he could not save us from the storm but since everything in Dominica has to go through him, I am quite sure if he were present he would be able to take decisions sooner that when he landed after 5pm. After all, he knew a storm was coming as DNO first mentioned it on the 25th, and he just had to wait until after the storm to do his usual run. However, in his absence it was nice to see Mr. Linton play his role as the should be Prime Minister, since he has always been seen as the true PM.

  23. mabouya
    August 28, 2015

    thanx DNO for keepin us in touch of wats goin on

    • Portsmouth - London Based
      August 28, 2015

      Thanks Dominica News on Line for the information. I am so saddened to hear what has happened to my beautiful Island of Dominica.

      I can understand that The focused is and will be on Roseau and the South, However , there is nothing to state or even to hear about the North of the island for example: Marigot and Portsmouth.

      Is there any way of getting information? I know that no news is good news, however I would like to ascertained what is going on there as I have families on that side also.

      I have spoken to family here who has informed me that other members from Roseau are Okay. Thank God. My deepest and heartfelt sympathy to those families who has lost their loved ones.

  24. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 28, 2015

    This reminds me of Hurricane David in 1979. I would like to extend heartfelt condolences to all those who lost loved ones during this tragedy. Hopefully, this will bring back our sense of brotherhood, community spirit and looking out for each other. In times like this, we are our brother’s keepers. Property can always be rebuilt.
    When the rebuilding efforts commence, I do hope that the engineers examine the height of some of those bridges that were damaged by flooding.

  25. August 28, 2015

    :( :( :( for dominica……………. may we come out of this impass. one word NATION BUILDING!

    • Ex-Comish ?-laughter best medicine
      August 28, 2015

      one word NATION BUILDING! that came from Diane Cisu-Carrette? LMAO the ex -comish is ur spouse? hahahahha he said one word and went on to say total garbage that’s two words right? Now check urs Dianne Nation Building also two words. who taught U guys English?
      Jokes aside : let’s use this opportunity to think of what’s essential in this life 3 scores and 10 forget the material consumption race use the passport sales money for all the peple not for passport agents. alone. Do it like the Saudis do with their oil wealth.
      When aid comes spread it evenly. No building mateirals for the Green turn REDS and the cartel should not use it like the Red Clin
      Where is the ex-comish in all that in DA or the USA chilling?
      Good luck my peeps.

  26. zandoli
    August 28, 2015

    I am saddened by he loss of life and property damage caused by the storm.

    The damage caused may not have been avoidable, but Mr. Linton don’t come here and tell us it took us by surprise. We were surprised because the people tasked with look at the data and monitoring the weather particularly at this time of year were asleep at the wheel.

    We have a disaster preparedness department whose job is to inform people so that they can take the necessary steps to ensure the take measures to protect themselves against natural disasters. They failed to do the jobs they were tasked to do.

    The storm did not start in Dominica. It started in the Atlantic and tracked trough Dominica. In this day and age, there is no reason why we should have been taken by surprise.

    This was not a localized event.

    • Brenda
      August 28, 2015

      This is not the time.

    • joe
      August 28, 2015

      Zandoli it is obvious you do not live on island, i think you need to stop posting on here because you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!

  27. preachers kid
    August 28, 2015

    were are praying. dominica will get out of this. stand strong and work together

  28. US
    August 28, 2015

    Our prayers and thoughts are with all Dominicans during their lost. Let’s keep praying

  29. Conerned Citizen
    August 28, 2015

    all attention seems to be focused on Roseau and the south, we here are not hearing anything from the north, could somebody please inform the relatives of persons living in Portsmouth and its environs what is going one?

  30. ZUMA
    August 28, 2015

    big thanks Thanks to the telephone companies in their quick reaction in geting the communication back on track…

    I am so happy for DNO that it is reporting.. many thanks DNO

  31. ZUMA
    August 28, 2015

    Good Speech however I must comment.. this should be a guideline to create better housing in Dominica. Structures which will be able to withstand natures thrashings,, excessive wind pressure, earth quakes on large scale and also extensive gushing water.

    Also there is dire need for better improved home security in terms of where people are building their homes..

    I will be happy to know that in the future the Government will be implementing these crucial ideas…

    We must get rid of all these galvanise living spaces.. homes. made of weak wooden structures in the city centre and elsewhere. the government must begin to build proper housing for less fortunate citizens of Dominica.. the pictuess in St Josep in my option ARE the worse. in 2015 certain dominicans are still leaving in structures made from galvanise and rotting wood.. this is a disgrace……. ( these scraps you find in bidonvilles in poorer countries around the world.. ) shanty towns….. get rid of these…

    • Key
      August 28, 2015

      Really you person???? This is not the time for ridicule, it is time for togetherness. We never portray ourselves to be a “Rich” country. so please, shut up or put up.

    • it don't matter
      August 28, 2015

      ZUMA your feedback is duly noted- but right now our focus is on the 35 lives lost-consoling the ones who made it- looking for any help we can find to assist our people not this BS you talking about. ok yea we have to get rid of the “galvanise” houses but is Dominica the only country in the world you know to have houses built of “galvanise”??? It was just a matter of time till y’all bring politics into the affairs of mother nature— WAIT FOR IT!! WAIT FOR IT!!

    • Views Expressed
      August 29, 2015

      This government wasted 10 years implementing bobol political activities meaning not well planned if planned at all. Any rush into fake ideas dubbed as investment is bound to fall and it took Ericka to tell us all about it. It is the same venerable people we have been trying to protect asking government for due prudence, diligence good governance and these people and Dominica now suffering.
      Tou cho …..tou flam bagay freeness……
      We are now paying for poor decisions and Hollywood style mismanagement. It has all been an act because we love our PM the so called Supremo.
      I conclude that we have wasted 10 years under this Skerrit led government
      There are better qualified and more trusted Dominicans in Dominica ably fitted to run and place our beloved Dominica on that trajectory path to sustainable and secured development
      God bless Dominica

      • Barbara Saunders
        August 31, 2015

        Views expressed

        Then now is a good time to assess them, the “better qualified and ably fitted ones” of which you speak. What is the leadership that they are displaying in this crisis? Are they up and about mobilising and getting their feet and hands dirty and trying to pull people together or are they doing the opposite? Watch the indicators of qualification and ability very carefully, my friend!

  32. Clayton FELIX
    August 28, 2015

    We are a blessed country. We survived David and will survive Erika.
    God bless Dominica and its people.

  33. nicole
    August 28, 2015

    Can anyone PLEASE tell me what is going on in St. Joseph and Leoplodville (that little area of wallhouse just behind the cronicle) ? I am not hearing anything about these two areas and I am trying to call from outside the island , but to no avail. can anyone please please shedsome light on whats happening in these two areas? Thank you

    • Carolann
      August 28, 2015

      CNN just spoke with a reporter in St Joseph. It’s a live video, you can watch it on CNN/s website.

  34. BRAIN DAMAGE
    August 28, 2015

    It’s another long struggle again in Dominica….. Hold tight. We have survived the past, we will for now…..

  35. August 28, 2015

    MY PRAYERS TO THE PEOPLE OF DOMINICA GET TOGETHER AND GET BACK ON YOU,ALL FEET
    GOOD BLESSING

  36. Take Courage
    August 28, 2015

    I hope that the missing is found alive. The pictures I saw were truly disturbing. Take courage, pray and let’s hope normalcy returns as soon as possible.

  37. August 28, 2015

    We need to know what is happening on the northern part of the island can somebody please say something

  38. Sunshine
    August 28, 2015

    Lord protect us in this difficult time. My prayers to all those who lost loved ones. While it’s hard to lose our possessions, they can be replaced.. Now is time for healing, and rebuilding.

  39. August 28, 2015

    My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of those who lost their love ones.And truly indeed I did not expect erika to reap that much havoc.Since when I last viewed msnbc on the both tropical storms.Danny was forecast to pass much closer to Dominica than erika. Erika was to pass well north of Guadeloupe.So much so,that the tropical storm warning was for Guadeloupe and further north.Dominica was only under a watch. And so, we see again only GOD knows for certain what can come out of these things.Like the saying goes,man propose GOD dispose.
    Like hurricane David,the night before the forecast was it is heading to Barbados,we were all feeling sorry for B/dos, being there’s so flat,by the next morning he was beating down Dominica.We now had to feel sorry for ourselves.And yes indeed we felt sorry for ourselves because he did give us a good beating. Hold strong people…

  40. August 28, 2015

    I am so sad ,heart broken for my beautiful country? but I know The Lord Will Make way for us.Dominica is Blessed and Yes We may be crying now ,but The Nature Isle Will Be More Beautifull Again.Wish I Was Home????? .Be Strong,love ❤ You All.from France

  41. Thank you Lord
    August 28, 2015

    the Boeri river also overflowed it’s bank . Destruction pass mariner enterprises area, inside river estate. bridge is impassable ti pawadi area. need to be cleared. no loss of life in the area but many apartments got flooded.. God looked over us. Praises!He saved us ! Could have been worse as there is only one way in and out.
    Still no water
    Electricity is back .

    Thank you Lord

  42. BEB
    August 28, 2015

    I have never seen water in all my life like this, although we were warned, I never expect the storm would hit us in such magnitude .

  43. Jennifer Pendergrast
    August 28, 2015

    I and my family are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Bless you and your beautiful island and may the recovery be quick and the loss be little. Much love.

  44. NewzmanD
    August 27, 2015

    :-| :-| :-? :oops:

  45. stupes
    August 27, 2015

    Took by surprise! Bwavo there is no warning when Jesus is doing his thing, and it will be a surprise when he comes. As the bible says, he will come as a thief in the night. Wake up my people… Sorry to those who lost their families. My heart goes out to them.

    • yes
      August 28, 2015

      what think Jesus is doing?
      “As the bible says, he will come as a thief in the night”
      all I need from you is the specific scripture reading in the bible that says that?
      waiting…….

  46. NewzmanD
    August 27, 2015

    Smh Roseau Valley roads are blocked all up to laudat so plz clear it……… And God is taking control….. Storm erica or all other stormz shall not hit D/A

    • Dan Tanner
      August 28, 2015

      Such ignorant belief in a non-existent god make me laugh.

      • August 29, 2015

        When two atomic bombs fell on Japan men who never prayed before in their lives prayed in the streets.

        My friend you will not be laughing.

        The Bible tells us in The Book of Revelation that when the great day of God’s wrath comes people will call for the rocks and the mountains to fall upon them and hide them from the wrath of Him who sits upon the Throne.

        Please visit my website http://www.livinghopeministries.ca

        First click onto SERMONS. Listen to my sermon MANY INFALLIBLE PROOFS.

        Then click onto ARTICLES. Read my article THINGS THAST CANNOT BE SHAKEN.

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

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