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Hurricane Maria
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The main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines said on Tuesday that it is “saddened by the early news of devastation coming out of Dominica” after the passage of Hurricane Maria Monday night.

“At this early stage of damage assessment, we have not heard of any deaths or serious injury because of the storm and pray that it remains that way,” the party said amidst a communication blackout with the “Nature Island” as a result of the storm.

“Our prayers also go out to the people in the forecasted path of Maria, as the hurricane moves forward on its destructive course,” the NDP said, and encouraged all Vincentians to “think of ways to extend a helping hand to our fellow Caribbean country.

“The NDP acknowledges the call for assistance by the Government of Dominica and will assist as much as we possibly can.

“It may seem unimaginable that so soon after the devastation of Category 5 Hurricane Irma, we are again as a region dealing with the impact of another major hurricane. However, together we will overcome. Let us join hands and hearts and show true humanity,” the NDP said in the statement.

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It said that this year’s hurricane season is proving to be a very challenging one for the region.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center says that Maria is expected to move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today (Tuesday) and is forecast to “remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane” as it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday.

“Though we were spared the full impact of Hurricane Maria, heavy rains and storm surge disrupted businesses, schools and Grenadine ferry services,” the NDP said.

In a Facebook post around 2 a.m. Tuesday, Dominica Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit said that initial reports were of “widespread devastation”.

“So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains,” he said.

Hurricane Maria has struck Dominica just two years after the devastating impact of Tropical Storm Erika, which ravaged the island in August 2015, leaving some 30 persons dead and millions of dollars in damage and loss.