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Petite Savanne is abandoned. Out of a population of about 600, only 16 people are left in this south eastern bay-oil producing village.

Five are dead and are buried in a make-shift cemetery near the seashore. There were no coffins, no pastors, no priests.

Many more people are missing, presumed dead. Over the past two days the others left the village by helicopter, by boat and by foot.

"As of 8 pm August 31, 2015 a total of 409 people were evacuated from Petite Savanne," said Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit at a press conference yesterday.

"Thirty of those evacuated were elderly or injured citizens who had to be airlifted. To date a total of 518 people have been evacuated".

But about 16 persons refused an invitation to leave Petite Savanne. They are the guards of what's left from Erika. They too will eventually leave.

"In the Darroux area there were 10 people, one elderly and nine other persons- these refused to be evacuated, "Skerrit said. " In Morne Topie there are three people; two elderly, one physically challenged. They too are refusing to be evacuated".

Skerrit reported that 121 persons have been evacuated from Dubique.

There are 369 persons in shelters.

And Dominica has also been counting its dead.

So far 11 bodies have been retrieved and there are 21 persons missing. Most of the missing persons are from Petite Savanne, Bath Estate (2), Coulibistrie (3), Delices (1), Castle Bruce (1) and two French nationals are also missing.

"The numbers could change as the information comes in," said PM Skerrit.

Petite Savanne was one of the hardest hit Dominican communities affected by tropical storm Erika.

On Thursday 27 August, 2015 Erika dumped more than 10 inches of rain on Dominica as the storm swept through the Leeward Islands.

All over Dominica, rivers and streams, swollen with water, raged through villages and towns drowning houses, vehicles and people. Petite Savanne, precariously perched on mountains and ridges, was swept away by massive landslides.

Petite Savanne is now a ghost village, its future buried under mud and trees and sand.


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