Storm-battered Dominica braces for new hurricane season

phys.org | 6/12/2018 | Staff
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With the hurricane season starting up again in the Atlantic, Irvince Auguiste is feeling vulnerable.

He, his wife Louisette and their three sons are still living in the ruins of their five-bedroom home that Hurricane Maria flattened nine months ago when it ravaged the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica.

Kitchen - Washroom - Living - Area - Sheets

They have rebuilt a kitchen, a washroom and a communal living area with sheets of plywood, but they are sleeping in tents.

"We are worried," Irvince says.

Hurricane - Louisette - Home

"I don't know where we will go if another hurricane comes. We just have to pray it doesn't," adds Louisette. "But we are not moving; this is our home."

More than 30 people were killed on Dominica when Maria crashed ashore on September 18 as a catastrophic Category Five storm, the first stop in a terrifying rampage that also devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Auguiste - Family - Rest - Residents - Colony

Like the Auguiste family, most of the rest of the 70,000 residents of the former British colony are nervously watching the weather forecasts as they struggle to get back on their feet.

While there has been some progress on Dominica, recovery has been slow and the task is daunting.

Damage - Island - Percent - GDP

Damage to the island has been estimated at $1.33 billion—or 226 percent of GDP.

Most businesses have reopened in the capital Roseau and electricity has been restored to various communities island-wide.

Portsmouth - Island - Town - Ground - Construction

In Portsmouth, the island's second largest town, ground has been broken on construction of new hurricane-hardened residences for people who lost homes.

The project, which calls for 226 residences to be built by next year, is being funded through a government program in which Dominica offers citizenship in return for investments in the island.

Project - Manager - Christopher - Timmins - Homes—which

Project manager Christopher Timmins said the new homes—which will have reinforced concrete walls and roofs, and impact-resistant windows—are "designed to withstand the worst that Dominican weather can throw at them."

But elsewhere, like Touna Village where the...
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