Hurricane Maria: Whole of Puerto Rico without power

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"So far, we would have buried in excess of 15 people", Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced on Thursday night.

Video footage shot by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency shows large swaths of the island suffered heavy damage, with roofs missing and debris scattered for hundreds of yards.

"Our hearts go out to those affected by the recent earthquakes in Mexico and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and surrounding areas", said Kim Price, president, 3M Foundation.

The head of Antigua and Barbuda's disaster services said the main communications systems for Dominica are down and the only power to the crippled island is from generators and vehicle batteries.

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Around 72,000 people live on the island in the Lesser Antilles.

Maria is expected to dump as much as 25 inches (63cms) of rain on parts of the island and bring storm surges of up to 3 metres, the NHC said. Dominica was still recovering from Tropical Storm Erika, which killed 30 people and destroyed more than 370 homes in August 2015.

The last message from a manager arrived about 45 minutes after Maria made landfall and stated the situation was "really bad and very scary". 'Now it looks like I might be useful here, ' he said.

The US territory's governor, Ricardo Rossello, issued a curfew for 18:00 local time (22:00 GMT) on Wednesday evening through early Saturday morning.

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Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a "potentially catastrophic" Category 4 storm that was set to become the most powerful to strike the USA territory in nearly 90 years.

Maria ties for the eighth-strongest storm in Atlantic history, when measured by wind speed.

Hurricane Maria lost some of its strength after moving through Dominica and the French territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe Tuesday.

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