Published on : Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Dominica, an island nation dependent on tourism, has been hit by hurricanes in the last two years. While Hurricane Erika’s torrent of rain caused catastrophic flooding and landslides in 2015, Maria’s gale force winds damaged nearly all business and residential structures last month.
However, Hurricane Maria is feared to have a far greater impact on Dominica’s economy than Erika, which caused damages equivalent to ninety percent of the Dominica’s G.D.P. Kevin Francis, Executive Vice President of the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association (DHTA) and Colin Piper, President of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) spoke about the damages brought about by the storms. Kevin Francis said that the country is reachable but has some challenges. A disaster assessment is being done to gauge the damages as a result of the hurricanes. There are significant road blockages caused by landslides and debris. Moving around is very hard. Structural damage and debris have closed bridges and roads. Vehicles are being asked not to come through the capital of Roseau while streets are cleaned. There are also concerns about the Roseau River jumping its banks.
There are also health concerns regarding mosquito born diseases as well as health risks from people burning garbage which releases toxins can initiate unhealthy air in the environment. Assessment of damages is important to begin the rebuilding process. The insurance process needs to be brought into place to provide hope to property owners. There is a need to fast track generators, waters, linens and other service items and amenities in order to operational properties.
A large percentage of hotels had their roofs blown off, causing significant water damage to furniture and fittings, flooding and loss of utilities. Most have suffered either severe damage or catastrophic damage requiring a complete rebuild. Most cottages, villas and bungalows have been blown away. It might take around 6 months to a year for many properties and other areas to come back to normal and welcome tourists.
Tags: Dominica tourism