'Worse than Irma': Category 5 hurricane threatens Caribbean

Days after Hurricane Irma devastated Caribbean, Florida, new Category 5 hurricane 'brutalizes' Dominica, threatens PR.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 1:08 PM

Hurricane moves across the Atlantic Ocean
Hurricane moves across the Atlantic Ocean

A Category Five hurricane – the highest level on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS) – tore through the Caribbean island nation of Dominica Monday night, leaving the country” brutalized and devastated”, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said.

“Initial reports are of widespread devastation,” Skerrit wrote on Facebook. “So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains. So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with.”

Hurricane Maria, which was downgraded on Monday to a Category Four, regained strength Tuesday and was upgraded back to a Category Five, with wind speeds in excess of 155 miles per hour.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that the hurricane would continue to gain strength over the next two days as it hits the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello warned that Hurricane Maria would likely cause even greater damage than Hurricane Irma.

“It will essentially devastate most of the island,” he said in an interview with USA Today. “It will provoke massive flooding in flooding prone regions ... our priority is to save lives.”

Earlier this month, Hurricane Irma, battered the Caribbean, before hitting Florida, killing 84 people and causing tens of billions of dollars-worth of damage.