Roseau, Dominica - The eastern Caribbean island of Dominica is generally known by few and confused by many because it's not the Dominican Republic.
No, this self-proclaimed “Nature Island of the Caribbean” sandwiched between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, is home to nine active volcanoes; countless rivers and waterfalls; swathes of rainforest; the second largest boiling lake in the world; virtually the only place where the region's first people, the Kalinago, still survive; and some of the longest, most challenging and scenic hiking trails in the Caribbean. In short, it's an amazing place.
Just less than a month ago, tropical storm Erika ravaged the island. Its streams and rivers swelled into raging torrents that ripped away land, buildings and roads, and steep mountainsides became deadly landslides that engulfed homes and some of the people within them. It was a tragedy almost beyond words and in the months and years to come as Dominica gets back on its feet again, the memory of what happened in August 2015 will continue to haunt many.
With infrastructure rebuilding costs estimated to be some £150m - about half of the island's annual GDP - Dominica urgently needs aid and assistance.
Immediate aid arrived from its Caribbean island neighbours, including helicopter airlifts, medical supplies, bottled water and other essentials. Cuba sent doctors and nurses, and the crew of the Royal Navy auxiliary ship Lyme Bay is now assisting with temporary water supplies in areas that have been cut off. Aid from the rest of the developed world has so far been noticeably absent and Dominicans have been at the forefront of their own rescue and recovery. Crews have been working around the clock clearing roads of landslides, and teams have been crossing rivers and hiking mountains in attempts to reconnect remote villages.