In Devastated Dominica, ‘Hams’ Become Vital Communications Link

When Hurricane Maria smashed into the tiny island of Dominica in the Eastern Caribbean earlier this week, phone service went down, virtually cutting off the island. But within hours, amateur radio operators got on the air and have been providing a vital link to the outside world ever since.

Speaking to ABS Television/Radio in his first interview since Maria made landfall, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, on a visit to Antigua, said at least 15 people were dead and at least 20 others missing amid “unprecedented” destruction.

An estimated 95 percent of roofs on homes in some towns were blown off in the 160-mph winds brought by the hurricane, which topped out at Category 5 when it hit the island. Debris-strewn roads are impassable, he said. “We have to access villages by sea and also by helicopter,” said Skerrit, whose own home was among those severely damaged in the storm.

 

Read more: NPR – http://n.pr/2wq9MAl

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