UPDATE: Statement by PM Skerrit on Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria’s location at 11:00 am

The following is a statement made at 11:15 am by Prime Minister Skerrit on Hurricane Maria as the category three hurricane approaches Dominica.

I want to say to Dominicans that this is not a time for heroism. This much water in Dominica is dangerous given our terrain and therefore persons should not wait for something to happen in order to take action.

I want to make this very important point that the next few hours should be placed on cleaning up the house, the property rather than stockpiling weeks of food and other supplies.
This is not a system, based on advice, that will linger very long, therefore the goal must not be on stockpiling supplies but the mitigating damage caused by flying objects as well as fallen trees, shrubs etc.
Our focus now should be on removing all of the potential hazards around our homes and around our communities to mitigate against potential damage to our properties and even to ourselves.
I wish to ask citizens that we should not jam up the phone system with non-essential phone and data use. All the video footage can wait until the system has passed. All of us in Dominica know the scene to expect, let us minimize the use of phone system to essential services, and relatives and friends overseas can monitor the welfare and well-being of loved ones. Minimize idle chats and use of phones particularly large data files.
Please survey your communities now and think especially of any elderly or indigent person whom the authorities may not have reached who you feel could have been exposed or vulnerable in this conditions. Go now and check on them and if possible, invite them to your home or offer to take them to a nearby shelter.
I want to also say to the citizens that the Ministry of Health has fully activated its emergency system and they have confirmed that all of their health systems are in place and they have sufficient and adequate supplies to treat our citizens if the need arises.
I am also appealing to all that we should treat the approaching hurricane very seriously, take no chances. As I said yesterday, I know we have prepared for numerous hurricanes this hurricane season and none has visited us thus far, let us not take this hurricane approaching us for granted, let us take it seriously and use the time that we have to prepare ourselves adequately.
The State will not allow any lawless action in this country. The Chief of police will give you the public and inform you on the arrangements for securing the State, its citizens and its residents.
I want to also say to you that the State is also preparing in advance, and we have prepared all of the necessary legal instruments in the event we have to declare a curfew in either the whole country or parts of the country to avoid any lawless action by those who wish to engage in such.
I have been in touch with His Excellency the President on this matter.
We want to say to residents who are in flood-prone areas should move to safer locations. Do not wait for the river to overflow its banks and then you try to cross the river or go through the flooded streets. Move to either the homes of friends and relatives or a nearby shelter.
We have also, with the help of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Works Co-operation, and in conjunction with the heavy equipment operators in the country, we have placed heavy equipment in strategic locations.
I will say finally that we believe the State has done all that it could humanly do in preparing the State for this approaching Hurricane Maria. The safety of yourself and your families remain largely in your hands, and therefore you need take all the precautionary measures to protect yourselves and your family and property from any harm or danger.

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  1. Balbir
    September 20, 2017

    Please find a way for students to get in touch with their families. People around the world are worried and waiting to hear back. Prayers sent towards all affected and please find a way for them to get in touch with their families. My brother is currently on the island and we’ve had no word from him for over 2 days now.

  2. Dominica on my mine
    September 20, 2017

    My question is how badly off my country can be that we cannot have satellite images of Dominica before and after the hurricane. All other countries like; st. Martin, Barbuda Dominica Republic, Haiti etc have images that you could see their countries during and after the hurricane even if there is no communication on the ground.. I guest their Government is concerned about their people, that thought matter how poor or rich their countries are they make share that there are facilities in place to provide help and support to their people.. and no body come and tell me to calm down , for I am calm is just that is time that Dominicans open their eyes and see that the bag of rice and the two sheet of galvanize that they going to give them after the storm is NOT ENOUGH. Is time Dominica move forward in a positive direction and have facilities in place that could help our people and help we Dominicans aboard to know what’s going on with our love ones..

  3. Thiana
    September 19, 2017

    This is to all Blacks who are descendants of the slaves who were brought to the America to China, Japan, Indonesia south pacific, Hawaii and the people of South America and Central America, the blacks and indigenous people of the caribbean, some of the blacks in Europe, in the middle east, India and some of the blacks in Africa. you are the lost now found children of Israel, we are the true Jews, our language was hebrew and our homeland was and is Israel. We were sold into slavery to the Edomites by the Hamite and the Ishmaelites. The Edomites are the so called white race, the Hamites are the Africans and the Ishmaelites are the Arab’s. The Africans did not sell Africans they sold the Israelites who fled into Africa in 70 AD, when the romans destroyed Jerusalem. we settled along the west coast of Africa where the slave trade began. The Nations came together to keep us from being a nation. They hid our identity, they prevented us from calling ourselves Israelites, from whorshipping…

  4. Ken Thomas
    September 19, 2017

    I pray that all you people in Dominica, family, friends and all fellow Dominicans have not being too blighted by this terrible hurricane Maria.
    Dominicans are resilient and with God’s grace I pray no lives are lost and we all get together both at home and abroad to help rebuild this beautiful island. Please stay safe.

  5. Let the Truth Be Known - Original
    September 18, 2017

    Excellent advice and warning from a concerned Prime Minister for his Dominican resident nationals.
    I pray that Hurricane Maria does not do any great damage or none at all.

  6. Lucia M
    September 18, 2017

    Can you comment regarding the students at Ross University please? These students are new to island life and likely have never experienced a hurricane prior to Maria. Many parents around the world watching the news closely, praying your islanders and all of their kiddos are safe….

  7. The Calabash
    September 18, 2017

    Good….To the point. Would have liked a more specific reference to looting. It is something we must extract from our socio/economic make up. A disaster impoverishes us all. Looting diminishes us and destroys the soul. It is a time to demonstrate strength of character and sacrifice.

  8. Heyward Robinson
    September 18, 2017

    Excellent comments by Prime Minister Skerrit on Hurricane Maria. Thank you for your efforts .

  9. jihan
    September 18, 2017

    God help Dominica and the rest of the islands,this is all a message from the almighty that he is control,we have lost control,and the division politics has brought upon our once loving islands,also human trafficking money laundering and the list goes on.I pray that no lives are lost and less damage.Pray my people.

  10. flapy bird
    September 18, 2017

    Wi papa! Now we looking like we pwee. Dominicans start to pray .

  11. Ave Maria
    September 18, 2017

    “I want to make this very important point that the next few hours should be placed on cleaning up the house, the property rather than stockpiling weeks of food and other supplies.”

    We are faced with a category 3 possibly 4 storm and you telling citizens they should not stockpile with food? Do you want us to turn to you for food? You want us to come and bow our knees to you so you could buy our vote?

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