Dominica after hurricane Maria REP

They used to call this The Garden of Eden: Nature island Dominica

This is the Green paradise three month after hurricane Maria


The small caribbean island Commonwealth of Dominica, located between Guadalupe and Martinique, was hit by hurricane Maria (category 5) the 18th of September 2017, just a few days after famous hurricane Irma passed next to it. The entire island was devastated after 7 hours tropical storm, leaving almost all the population without house, roof, electricity or food.

Already three month have passed after the natural catastrophe, some areas like the capital city Rosseau have been cleaned and again look like they used to be before, even if they still don´t have electricity; but most of the island still looks like the pictures shown here.

The rain water came down the mountains so strong that it washed away entire houses. On this picture it “only” broke the back wall of this church and filled it up with dirt, wood and everything else it would find on its way down. People are cleaning, but already there are growing new small plants in the middle of the mess inside the church.

Driving through the island, you can see people living in all type of provisional constructions: a few have become tents as donation from different NGOs, others build themselfs new shelters using parts of other houses that have flown all over the place.

After some time it becomes difficult not to ask yourself what they are going to do with all this huge amount of woods, rubbish and broken cars that are spread all around the island.

Some areas have not been beaten such hard, and also in many places you can see the nature already bringing back a bit of green to Dominica, but still most areas in the mountain side look totally dead and brown.

Over 90% of people do not have access to electricity. In Roseau the electricity is slowly being reconnected now, but nobody can really estimate how long it may take to bring back the electricity to all those who live further away outside.

Many people lost all they had and now still live in shelters, like this school near by Marrigot. Donations and food rations reach, but everybody agrees that it is never enough.

Eighty per cent of the houses still do not have an adequate roof, and most of the people can´t buy screws to rebuilt; using nails is not recommended because they are not strong enough to resist tropical storms.

According to the leatests UN reports, 19.800 children are still affected, which means more or less all of them.

© Photos and text by:

Tobias Oelgart