“Whole Towns Have Been Wiped Out” Hurricane Maria Devastates Dominica; Death Toll Climbs To 15

“Whole Towns Have Been Wiped Out” Hurricane Maria Devastates Dominica; Death Toll Climbs To 15:

Update (1:00 pm ET): The prime minister of Dominica says the death toll from Hurricane Maria has risen to 15, with 20 people still missing, according to the Associated Press. He expects the death toll in the island’s villages to rise.

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In a testament to the sheer power of Hurricane Maria, the most destructive storm to hit the Caribbean in nearly a century, civilization on the tiny island of Dominica was essentially wiped out after Maria – then a category 5 storm – battered the island with 160 mph gusts, leveling whole towns and wiping out the island’s electricity and communications infrastructure.

The death toll on the island has climbed to 7 – but a complete count of casualties likely won’t be possible for at least a few more days, as the island’s shaken residents sift through the debris and contemplate what to do now that everything they and their neighbors owned has been destroyed.

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