Hurricane Maria made landfall on the southwest coast of Dominica at 9:35pm on 18 September as a Category 5 hurricane, with 160 mph wind speed and higher gusts. The hurricane force resulted in intense storm surges, torrential downpour, overflowing raging rivers, and extremely high winds across the island left 31 people dead, 37 missing. 65,000 people, around 80% of the population, were directly affected and more than 90% of roofs were damaged or destroyed while power and water supplies were disrupted, and entire crops destroyed
Of the estimated USD 930.9 million damages most were sustained in the housing sector (38%), followed by transport (20%) and education (8%). The greatest of the USD 380.2 million losses were sustained in the agriculture sector (32%), followed by tourism (19%) and transport (14%) (UN 16/11/2017, 18/10/2017, OCHA 26/09/2017). Overall, damages and losses are estimated at around USD 1.3 billion, equating to 224% of Dominica’s 2016 GDP (PDNA 2017).
Four months after the hurricane, although the situation is normalising, Dominica remains seriously impacted. Around 450 people still reside in collective shelters. Over 80% of houses still have inadequate roofing, about 15% children have not yet returned to school, 90% of the population does not have electricity, and a sizeable portion of the population is highly vulnerable after losing their main source of livelihood (OCHA 20/12/2017).