U.N. agency seeks $31M for Do­minica

Tampa Bay Times - - Nation & World -

UNITED NA­TIONS — The U.N. hu­man­i­tar­ian of­fice is launch­ing a $31 mil­lion emer­gency ap­peal for the hur­ri­cane-bat­tered Caribbean is­land of Do­minica which was hit by a Cat­e­gory 5 storm Sept. 18.

The U.N. said Fri­day the ap­peal aims to pro­vide emer­gency aid to 65,000 peo­ple from Septem­ber to De­cem­ber. It said $3 mil­lion was ex­pected to be re­leased later Fri­day from the U.N.’s Cen­tral Emer­gency Re­sponse Fund for Do­minica.

Last Satur­day, the is­land’s leader, Prime Min­is­ter Roo­sevelt Sk­er­rit, told the U.N. Gen­eral As­sem­bly that “the des­o­la­tion is be­yond imag­i­na­tion.”

Peo­ple around the world fol­lowed Sk­er­rit’s grip­ping Face­book posts as he de­scribed his roof be­ing torn off and his home fill­ing with wa­ter as Hur­ri­cane Maria swept over Do­minica with 160 mph winds. He had to be res­cued.

The storm tore off roofs, de­stroyed houses and build­ings, inundated many ar­eas with wa­ter and af­fected the en­tire pop­u­la­tion.

This week, the con­firmed death toll rose to 27 and au­thor­i­ties said 27 oth­ers are still miss­ing

Se­cu­rity forces said Mon­day that they had con­trolled loot­ing that be­gan af­ter Maria headed away to bat­ter Puerto Rico. The is­land was un­der a 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. cur­few af­ter Maria hit. Po­lice said they ar­rested 120 peo­ple, most for vi­o­lat­ing the cur­few.

The United Na­tions said was the fifth time on record that Do­minica had taken a di­rect hit from a hur­ri­cane, but it said the is­land had never “faced a storm of such fe­roc­ity and strength.”

Sk­er­rit ap­pealed to the U.N.’s 193 mem­ber na­tions for help for Do­minica and other is­lands bat­tered by hur­ri­canes say­ing “let these ex­tra­or­di­nary events elicit ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­forts to re­build na­tions sus­tain­ably.”

Getty Im­ages

Braumd Phillips, left, and Dun­can Ed­wards stand on the de­bris of a de­stroyed home Sept. 23 in Do­minica. Emer­gency aid is needed for 65,000 res­i­dents, a U.N. agency says.

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