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Tropical storm Erika leaves at least 20 dead in Caribbean

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Prime minister of Dominica says huge effort needed to rebuild after 15 inches of rain roared down on island, while Haiti and Dominican Republic also hit

Tropical storm Erika began to lose steam on Friday after causing a trail of destruction that included at least 20 people deaths and another 31 missing on the small eastern Caribbean island of Dominica, authorities said.

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The Dominica prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, said in a televised address late on Friday that the island has been set back 20 years in the damage inflicted by the storm. “The extent of the devastation is monumental. It is far worse than expected,” he said, adding that hundreds of homes, bridges and roads have been destroyed. “We have, in essence, to rebuild Dominica.”

Related: Tropical storm Erika unleashes destruction as four die in Dominica

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