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Dominica post Hurricane Maria update

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Roseau Dominica / Stuttgart (October 19th, 2017)
Dear media partners,
dear travel partners,
dear friends of the Nature Island of Dominica,

Dominica was severely impacted by category 5 Hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017.
Assessment of the country’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges and sites and attractions continues.  Updated information from daily press briefings are accessible at http://www.opm.gov.dm/.
Following is an update on island services:

Current Status
Dominica has classified this new period post Maria as one of relief, recovery and rebuilding.  The positive news is that many areas, communities and families are now moving from the relief phase to recovery. Restoration and repair of some services has begun. The Government led rebuilding phase will focus on incorporating best practices that ensure Dominica will be better able to withstand future acts of nature.

·        Main roadways have been cleared and damage is still being assessed.
·        Over 275 tons of food and 45,000 gallons of water have been distributed to over 93 communities.
·        All banks, some businesses and government offices are now open for business in the city.
·        The Ministry of Education is working to have 23 schools reopened by October 17, 2017. Many schools will reopen in in their original buildings, while others will operate on a shift system or in an alternate location.

Travel
·        Most roads are safe for driving and motorists are advised to proceed with caution in certain areas.
·        LIAT Airlines and Seaborne have resumed commercial flights to Dominica and are operating at a limited capacity.
·        Seaborne Airlines began commercial flights to/from Dominica on October 11, 2017. Flights depart San Juan, Puerto Rico at 12:45 pm and depart Dominica 3:00 pm daily. For additional details, visit https://www.seaborneairlines.com/
·        LIAT Airlines will operate commercial flights as follows:
o   Return flight to Antigua (LI624) will operate on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday departing Antigua  at 11:30am and  Dominica at 1:10pm;
o   Return flight to Barbados (LI601) will operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday departing Barbados at 10am and Dominica at noon.
This schedule will run until November 7th when the airline will update its schedule.
For additional details, visit http://www.liat.com/ or call the Call Centre at 1-888-844-5428
·        L’Express des Iles ferry service is operating to Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia from the Roseau Ferry Terminal.  The ferry travels the Martinique /St Lucia route on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays departing Dominica at 10:30 am and on Saturdays at 3 pm.  Service to Guadeloupe from Dominica is at 11:30 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and at 09:15 am on Saturdays.  For additional information, please visit http://www.express-des-iles.com/index.cfm?lng=en .

Accommodation
·        Prior to Hurricane Maria, Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) had on record of seventy-three (73) properties / nine hundred and nine (909) guest rooms. As of October 17, 2017, sixty-four (64) of these properties have been reassessed for hurricane damage.  Assessments show that thirty-two (32) properties are moderately damaged and able to operate now or in the near future.
·        Twenty seven (27) properties have been severely damaged or destroyed, with serious to total destruction of structures including roofs, electrical and plumbing. Wi-Fi  is not available in most cases.
The properties that suffered moderate damage account for fifty one percent (51.4%) of the total room stock or four hundred and sixty-seven (467) guestrooms.

Tourist Activity
·        Most natural sites have been assessed.  Access roads to these sites have been damaged and consequently tourist sites and natural attractions are currently closed until repair work is complete.

·        Overall 35% of reefs at dive sites were damaged, particularly  sponges and softer corals above 45 feet. Currently all nine dive operators are closed for business and most will not be operational before January 2018. Upon resumption the number of dives per day will be reduced to ease the strain on the fragile reefs.  Kindly check in with your dive shop for more details.

Utilities
·        The Dominica Water and Sewage Company (DOWASCO) has restored drinking water supply to 55% of its network and work is ongoing to restore pipe borne water to other communities.
·        The Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC) has restored electricity to parts of the capital city Roseau, Portsmouth and are continuing restoration of electricity to other communities.
·        Mobile phone service providers FLOW and Digicel have restored access to their mobile networks to a number of communities.  FLOW has restored 21 of its 49 mobile sites and land line phone service has been restored to parts of Roseau, Canefield, St. Joseph, Portsmouth, Morne Daniel, Mahaut and Pond Cassee.  Digicel has restored mobile service to communities in the north, south and west as well as Roseau, Portsmouth and environs.

Relief Operations
Relief efforts are being coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister through the Emergency Organizing Committee.
Detailed information on relief operations can be found at www.opm.gov.dm.

While some of our accommodations and sites have been damaged by hurricane Maria, our welcoming spirit has not been deterred. Many within the hospitality sector have regrouped and welcome voluntourism visitors.  If you are interested in such a visit to Dominica kindly contact our office.

For more information on Dominica, contact Dominica Tourist Office represented by Tropical Consult:
Phone +49 711 26346624
Email dominica@tropical-consult.de
Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and watch our videos on YouTube.

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