Prime Minister Gaston Browne has pledged his country’s support for the island of Dominica which was ravaged by Hurricane Maria Monday night.
“The Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda stand in solidarity with the government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica during this time of need. We express our deep sorrow at the loss of life and property resulting from the passage of Hurricane Maria over the island. We stand ready to lend support to our brothers and sisters in Dominica,” Prime Minister Browne said.
In a statement Tuesday, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said that the winds of Maria have swept away the roofs of almost every person he has spoken to or otherwise made contact.
“The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside. I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating…indeed, mind boggling. My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured. We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds,” said Prime Minister Skerrit.
Prime Minister Browne said that despite Antigua’s own challenge with the rebuilding of Barbuda, he believes that now more than ever, the region needs to stand side by side in coming to the assistance of those countries ravaged by recent hurricanes.
“We will work as a country individually to assist in the recovery efforts in Dominica and we will also work with our fellow colleagues as part of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency to bring Dominica back to some semblance of normalcy. However, based on the initial reports of widespread devastation, the rebuilding effort will be monumental, but together we can accomplish the task,” said Prime Minister Browne.
“Antigua and Barbuda remains committeed and together we will summon our resilient spirit and rebuild Dominica and Barbuda and the other islands within the region that were devastated by hurricanes,” PM Browne concluded.
The country’s leader has already communicated with the heads of the security forces and disaster relief officials to stand ready to send a contingent to Dominica to assist in the recovery efforts.
At press time, six deaths were reported in Dominica from the passage of Hurricane Maria.