Local woman worries about family in the path of Hurricane Maria

US Navy aids victims in Dominica

Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, was moved to tears this afternoon as he spoke directly to the public for the first time on the status of his country in the wake of the destructive Category 5 Hurricane Maria. The storm was predicted to bring 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain across the islands, with more in isolated areas.

The helicopter carrier and amphibious assault ship arrived in the region on Friday packed with 60 tonnes of United Kingdom aid - nearly doubling the amount in the region.

Now, all she can do is wait for news of her loved ones.

Maria has clobbering Puerto Rico as it barrels towards the US-owned Virgin Islands after wreaking devastation on Dominica, leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado.

"At the moment these are fatalities we know of".

In shops across the island, shelves were bare after people filled shopping carts with the limited amount of water, batteries, baby formula, milk and other items they could find. "It was still daylight. and they just figured it would just pass. and then life would be back to normal, but I don't think anybody expected that kind of damage at that time", he said. She worries that poor infrastructure on the island will make it impossible to stay connected once the storm reaches her family home.

The National Weather Service in San Juan said Friday that the northwestern municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas, home to some 70,000 people, were being evacuated with buses because the nearby Guajataca Dam was failing.

"We are using every available means to get there", he said.

Governor Ricardo Rossello said the hurricane was "the most devastating storm in a century" adding that it could take months to restore power to the island. The loan, available on highly concessionary terms, is created to support the clearing and cleaning of areas damaged by Hurricane Maria, and the emergency restoration of services.

A Hurricane warning was issued for Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques.

Puerto Rico faced another night of darkness Friday, two days after Hurricane Maria hurled rain and wind at the USA territory and knocked out its electricity grid. "The country needs the support and continued help and prayers of all", he added.

"You can not live here without power", said Hector Llanos, a 78-year-old retired NY police officer who planned to leave Saturday for the USA mainland to live there temporarily. "They're made of wood and can't sustain a strong wind", she said.

More hurricanes are churning through the Atlantic Ocean on a possible collision course with US territory.

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