More Canadians seeking evacuation after Hurricane Maria

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He added the country was "in a daze" with no electricity, running water or cellphone service.

Skerrit said that with hurricanes becoming ever stronger, "we really need, all of us, to understand that these issues are of greater concern to small islands like ours".

Many parts of the island have not been surveyed yet and the death toll is expected to rise. It blew up from a tropical storm into a major Category 5 hurricane in barely more than a day.

Maria is moving away from Puerto Rico, weakening to a category two storm.

NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said that Maria was one of the fastest intensifying hurricanes ever recorded. Officials feared that the heavy rain could unleash life-threatening mudslides.

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Destruction and debris are seen in Roseau, capital of the Caribean island Dominica, September 21, 2017, three days after passage of Hurricane Maria. The tour will focus on the east of the island, which has reportedly been hardest hit.

The storm was carrying sustained winds of up to 115mph as it headed northwest after battering the Dominican Republic yesterday.

"The urgent needs now are roofing materials for shelters, bedding supplies for hundreds stranded in or outside what's left of their homes", Henry said.

"This money will ensure food, water and shelter goes directly to those who need it most on the worst hit islands".

There was flooding in the French territory of Guadeloupe, where one person was killed by a falling tree and another died on the seafront. At least two others were missing after their ship sank near Desirade, the easternmost island in the archipelago. "It was knocked to the canvas by Erika, it has now been knocked to the floor by Maria but it is nonetheless very determined to get back up and move again".

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