3 killed in Haiti as Hurricane Maria related rains lash country

Army personnel evacuate the Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria

Army personnel evacuate the Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria

Dominica was one of the hardest hit regions with at least 15 deaths blamed on the storm and hundreds of homes destroyed.

Mr Skerrit said he has spent the last 24 hours surveying by air the destruction caused by the powerful storm.

AFP aerial footage showed debris from damaged buildings scattered across the island of 72,000 people and many structures with their roofs ripped off. Trees were snapped in half or ripped out of the ground.

"The main hospital is functioning without electricity". This could lead to flash flooding and mudslides in the mountains in Hispaniola, the agency said. "I saw nearly complete devastation", said Skerrit, who has made several flights over the territory.

Other Caribbean islands assess damage The storm completely knocked out Puerto Rico's power grid, leaving the country's 3.5 million residents without electricity, and more than 95 percent of wireless cell sites are down.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans stunned by a hurricane that crushed concrete balconies and paralyzed the island with landslides, flooding and downed trees vowed to slowly rebuild amid an economic crisis as rescue crews fanned out across the USA territory.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz told MSNBC that the devastation in the capital city was unlike any she had ever seen.

The US National Hurricane Centre said hurricane warnings are in force on the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.

It is the second devastating storm to hit the Caribbean this hurricane season - the first being category five Irma earlier in September.

President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria slammed into the US territory.

He has yet to declare the island a disaster area but has made federal emergency aid available.

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