Dominica has suffered “widespread damage” from Hurricane Maria, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says.”We have lost all that money can buy,” he said in a Facebook post.
The hurricane strengthened to a “potentially catastrophic” category five storm before making landfall on the Caribbean island.Earlier Mr Skerrit had posted live updates as his own roof was torn off, saying he was “at the complete mercy of the hurricane”.
“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 wrote after being rescued.Maria is moving roughly along the same track as Irma, the hurricane that devastated the region this month.
It has sustained winds of 260km/h (160mph).
The nearby island of Martinique has declared a maximum-level alert while another French island, Guadeloupe, ordered evacuations.
Hurricane warnings are also in place for:
Puerto Rico: The US territory expects Maria to make landfall as a category three on Tuesday. It escaped the worst of Irma and has been an important hub for getting relief to islands more badly affected. Governor Ricardo Rossello urged islanders to seek refuge
US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands: Both island chains suffered severe damage from Irma and President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the US territories on Monday. British authorities fear debris left behind by Irma could be whipped up by the new storm and pose an extra threat.
Warnings are also in effect for St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and St Lucia while hurricane watches are in place for St Martin, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla.