Rescue Teams Opening Roads in Dominica

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Rescue teams have been working continuously in Dominica to reopen roads to remote communities, after Tropical Storm Erika caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 20 people and left more than 50 missing on the Caribbean island.

Officials evacuated the first 100 of approximately 1000 people ordered to leave the town of Petite-Savanne because of fears of new landslides.

Evacuations were carried out by boat because of damage to roads and bridges.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has declared nine local areas disaster zones.

He’s appealing for international aid and estimated that damage from the storm could set the country’s development back two decades.

According to Skerrit, the extent of the devastation was monumental.

Erika lashed Dominica for more than five hours on Wednesday, bringing strong winds and intense rain that triggered flooding and landslides.

Hundreds of homes were destroyed.

Crews were using heavy equipment sent by the governments of Venezuela, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Hundreds of men worked today to reopen the country’s main airport, where mud and debris impeded operations.