China steps in as saviour for Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic, which has been the worst hit in the Carribean islands, will need time and funds to rebuild itself. The storm has caused a national tragedy in the island of 72,000 people. China has stepped in and is offering $300,000 as humanitarian assistance to the ravaged island. With these funds, China aims to convey the sympathy of the Chinese government to Dominican Republic.
Miami based National Hurricane Centre anticipated the tropical storm Erika as it moved through the Leeward Islands while unleashing almost 8 inches of rain. Countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands issued storm warnings. The warning would particularly affect the northern coast of the Domincan Republic, which will be under the centre of Erika.
Hurricane Erika poured forth a torrential downpour in the island of Dominica in the Lesser Antilles, in the Carribean. The storm had affected Dominica the most, with wind speeds of 50 mph, with gusts up to 65 mph. Estimates suggested that the island received atleast six inches rain in six hours. It was predicted that Dominica would continue to receive more rain through Friday.
The Prime Minister of the Dominican Republic said that 12 people had been killed in the storm that had dumped almost a foot of rain on the island. It had also caused mass destruction while it raged over the island, damaging roads and washing away cars in the floods that accompanied the rainfall. Homes and bridges have been destroyed, changing the appearance of Dominica.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has appealed to Domicans to extend whatever help possible to their neigbours as they all try to climb out of the hole that Erika has left in their midst. Erika has reportedly caused much harm to their plans of development and their progress. Skerrit also called for Dominicans around the world to send money to their relatives back home.
As the Dominican death toll rose to 20, Florida's governor, Rick Scott, declared a state of emergency in Florida. However, updates on the tropical storm from NHC said that Erika was supposed to weaken by Saturday and become a tropical depression. Despite this, Scott urged people to treat the storm- which is due to hit Florida on Monday-seriously and be prepared with disaster plan.
As of Saturday morning, Erika lost its intensity degenerated into a low pressure trough; when it hit Haiti, it was already weakened. It is no longer a tropical cyclone; all tropical storm watches and warnings have been dropped. However, the threat of high speed gusts and local heavy rain continues. A diminished Erika will now move over Central Cuba, providing rainfall to drought-stricken areas.
The impoverished and disaster prone island of Haiti, which barely survived the massive earthquake ravages in 2010- escaped narrowly as Erika's sustained winds dropped to 45 mph, probably saved by the 3,000-meter peaks of the neigbouring island of Hispaniola.