The final loss of life hasn't been determined... as of the last time I talked to Elvis, he, and his grandparents, had survived the storm, though they were left with just the clothes they were wearing when the storm hit and several family members were "lost" ...though I am unclear as to whether that just means they have not been located.
But while Elvis is alive and OK, just a few scratches, the island is not. There has been a complete loss of communication to most of the island, there is no food or water, and public and government buildings have been damaged as badly as private homes, so there is literally no place for many to shelter at all.
Dominca is considered a paradise for ecotourists... the pristine waterfalls, rain forests, diving and hiking opportunities are matched only by the diverse flora and fauna... which has been Elvis's life. With a background in biology and botany, Elvis is a naturalist who has guided university students and scientists, as well as just regular folk, like you and I, around his island home.
But that is over for now. A CNN crew who flew over Dominica reported: “Nearly every tree was touched – thousands snapped and strewn across the landscape – and the island was stripped of vegetation. The rainforests appear to have vanished."
“The breadth of the destruction is staggering – intact or untouched homes are hard to find amid the chaos.”
Besides a lack of food and water, food crops have been destroyed, food animals have died and been swept away and some communities, having only generators or car batteries as a source of power, are completely cut off. Because roads are impassable, relief teams have been dropping personnel, with satellite phones, into the most remote areas to coordinate supply drops.
Fortunately, nature is resilient, she will heal herself, and offer up her bounty again more quickly than man can rebuild his abodes. In the meantime, though, Elvis, his family and neighbors are desperate for the basics.
How can you help?
There are several ways you can donate.... this is one of the best, most direct, relief efforts for Dominica... www.darda.org/hurricane-maria-relief.html
This video is by Cedric Gourret, from Guadeloupe, France of his visit and tour of Dominica with Elvis. Enjoy, and click the Vimeo link to see more videos from Cedric as well.
Dominica: Place your mouse over the photo below to begin the slideshow