UK aid ship sent to Dominica following storm damage

1 Sep 15

A UK government defence ship has been sent to the Caribbean country of Dominica to provide humanitarian support after extensive damage was caused when tropical storm Erika hit the country last week.

Dominica's prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit has declared nine disaster zones following the storm to focus the recovery response. It is so far estimated that the storm, which hit on 27 August, led to the death of 20 people and the displacement of hundreds.

Skerrit announced the creation of a recovery and reconstruction fund to allow for international contributions to the country’s rebuilding efforts.

He said the island experienced continuous rainfall measuring 10 inches over a six-hour period. The storm also caused severe damage to infrastructure. Dominica’s Douglas-Charles airport and its road, electricity, water and telecommunication networks were all affected by Erika.

Skerrit said the government was fully engaged in immediate response with a view to quick rehabilitation and recovery.

Following the storm, UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced that Royal Fleet Auxillary ship Lyme Bay was being sent to the Commonwealth country provide humanitarian support.

The ship, which is stationed in the Caribbean to act as a first responder in cases of natural disasters, is carrying a range of relief stores including bedding, shelter, torches and stretchers, as well as a Lynx Mk 8 helicopter and supplies of fresh water. It is expected to arrive in the country tomorrow.

“It is clear that Dominica has borne the brunt of this storm, with a number of deaths already confirmed and hundreds of people made homeless,” Greening said.

“Roads, bridges and health clinics have been affected and large parts of the island are without water and electricity. Part of RFA Lyme Bay’s tasking is to respond to just this sort of emergency and the ship is already en route to assist with relief efforts. As well as essential supplies and helicopter support, the ship can also provide vital expertise to help clean-up operations and recovery efforts.”

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