Listed in category 5, the maximum level, and qualified as ” potentially catastrophic ” by the American meteorological services, Hurricane Maria moved away from Martinique, now placed in gray vigilance. Only rescuers are allowed to go out. The cyclone hit Dominica with winds of 260 km / h. He did not spare Guadeloupe, in vigilance purple, the order of confinement, where one dead and two missing are to be deplored.
Hurricane Maria continues on her way. It gradually moves away from Guadeloupe after passing on Martinique and Dominica. Hurricane alerts were triggered in the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands.
The purple alert approaching Cyclone Maria is due to be triggered at noon local time in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, announced the perfect delegate Anne Laubiès ” As normal, I would not have it not done, but given the fragility of the habitat, the debris that remains, I do not want to take any risk, “she said. On the French island of Guadeloupe, the hurricane is already responsible for the death of one person while two others have disappeared.
Maria is also worried about Puerto Rico, an American territory that has not been hit by a cyclone of this magnitude for 85 years. The governor declared a state of emergency. Some 450 shelters have been opened and will accommodate 68,000 people.
Degraded for a few hours this Tuesday morning, the hurricane is reverted to category 5. Thursday and Friday, Maria is expected to travel along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The president, Danilo Medina, canceled his speech before the General Assembly of the UN to return to Santo Domingo. On Friday, Maria could also cause severe weather in northern Haiti.
Accused of lacking a sense of anticipation and then of reactivity during the passage of Hurricane Irma, which left 40 dead and considerable damage in the Caribbean, the Dutch, French and British governments are on the qui-vivid. Paris and London had announced the sending of additional personnel on the spot, including 110 soldiers in Guadeloupe while awaiting more.
► The Dominica devastated by this new cyclone
Maria has ravaged the English-speaking and independent island of Dominica with winds of more than 260 km / h. The inhabitants of this country ” lost everything that could be lost, ” said Tuesday Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. ” The winds took away the roofs of almost everyone I talked to or had contact with. The roof of my own official residence was one of the first to fly, “the head of government writes.
From Monday afternoon, the landscapes were transformed on the island. Descriptions established by its approximately 73,000 inhabitants and relayed by the media. Agence France-Presse evokes reversed trees and electric poles, heavy rains, violent winds, and unfortunately floods. Exceeded, the Prime Minister, who speaks via the social network Facebook, is already calling for ” help of any kind“.
Martinique now placed in gray vigilance
Before Dominica, the eye of the cyclone had passed 50 km from the northern coast of the French island of Martinique, depriving 33,000 homes of electricity but without doing significant damage, according to the prefecture. Schools and administrations will remain closed on Tuesday. The winds weaken, but the rains, often stormy, persist. Two people were slightly injured.
Guadeloupe hard hit
In Guadeloupe, struck in the night by violent winds and torrential rains, an initial assessment by the prefecture indicates the death of a person killed by the fall of a tree and two other missing sinking of a boat off La Désirade.
” All road networks in the archipelago are impacted by falling branches or trees, ” local authorities said. Flooding was also reported in the Pointe-à-Pitre area, as well as submersions on the southern shore of Basse-Terre. According to the prefecture, 40% of the island’s households, ie 80 000 subscribers, are deprived of electricity, while 25% of fixed telephone customers no longer have access to electricity.
The islands of Saintes, Marie-Galante, Petit-Bourg and La Désirade are among the areas most affected by the hurricane.
Our special envoy, Pierre Olivier, joined this morning before the communications were cut, gave a chaotic picture of the situation: winds whirring, hollows of 10 to 12 meters, heavy rains, trees on the ground, and so on. It is still too early to take stock of the possible damage.
Guadeloupe serves as a backbone for the transport of essential products and materials necessary for the reconstruction of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, hard hit by Hurricane Irma ten days ago and placed this time on red alert.
► A solid concert of solidarity in Paris
Entitled ” Together for the West Indies“, a concert is given this Tuesday night at the Casino de Paris to collect funds to help the populations already victims of Hurricane Irma ten days ago, and now victims of Maria.
Many artists have responded to the call, such as Alain Souchon, Carla Bruni or Bernard Lavilliers. It is an initiative of our colleagues from France Inter and France Télévisions. A concert broadcast live on RFI from 9 pm, Paris time.