The storm slammed through with 250km/h winds, snapping palm trees, peeling off roofs and sending debris skidding across beaches and roads. Consular officials are waiting to assist students in St. Lucia when they arrive, Alghabra said.
The powerful hurricane ripped through the small Caribbean island late Monday before making landfall in Puerto Rico.
"Tremendous loss of housing and public buildings". The PM also said on Thursday that the island's main hospital was still without power.
"So far, we would have buried in excess of 15 people", Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced on 21 September night. Depending on sea conditions, the evacuations could begin on Friday, the department said.
PM Skerrit said he is "completely committed" to getting Dominica the financial aid that it needs from global partners.
The island is famous for its 365 rivers.
Earlier, authorities warned residents living in wooden or flimsy homes to find safe shelter before the storm hit. Neither was as strong as Maria.
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Nashville resident Richelle Desire said she can't reach her family because communications are down across the island of Dominica, a place that is home to her family and where she grew up.
Outside her store, more than 100 people stood in line waiting to get money out of an ATM machine and hoping there would still be some cash left when their turn came. He plans to buy food at the few restaurants that are open and operating on generators. The eye of the storm is expected to pass near the island of Dominica on Monday evening.
The head of Antigua and Barbuda's disaster services said the main communications systems for Dominica are down and the only power to the crippled island is from generators and auto batteries. A dozen more are at a separate post-secondary institution on the island.
"I have to say I feel I have used that term a lot this year, because every crisis I go to is unprecedented".
As rescue workers accessed the island by boat and helicopter, Dominica remained largely cut off from the outside world.
His messages were practically the only information the world had about Dominica's fate as the massive storm roared across a ruggedly attractive landscape at the eastern edge of the Caribbean and cut off communications with the outside world.
"I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating...indeed, mind boggling".
"We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds", he wrote Tuesday.