Petite Savanne

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Coordinates: 15°15′15″N 61°16′10″W / 15.25417°N 61.26944°W / 15.25417; -61.26944 Petite Savanne (French for "little savannah") was a village on the southeast side of Dominica. It had an estimated population of 1,200 in 2015.[1] The region the town was built on features some of Dominica's steepest terrain;[2] the slopes were composed largely of silt and clay.[3]

On August 27, 2015, Tropical Storm Erika produced torrential rainfall across Dominica, triggering catastrophic flash flooding and mudslides.[4] Throughout the nation, Erika killed up to 30 people and inflicted EC$1.3 billion (US$482.8 million) in damage.[5] Multiple landslides devastated Petite Savanne. At least 6 fatalities occurred in the community and a further 14 people were reported missing. A total of 217 homes were destroyed there, accounting for almost 60 percent of the total homes destroyed by the storm.[6] Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit declared the village a special disaster area in light of the tremendous damage.[7] A mandatory and permanent evacuation of all residents was subsequently implemented.[8] The majority were to be relocated to Roseau.[9] The village was initially isolated for several days, and only accessible by sea or air even a week after the storm.[1][7] Owing to unstable terrain, the area was declared unsafe and off-limits to all travel for more than two months after Erika.[3]

The destruction of Petite Savanne forced the evacuation of 823 people; the village was later deemed uninhabitable and a new town needed to be built elsewhere. Plans for a new settlement, comprising 500–1,000 homes, were established in February 2016.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Emergency response: Dominica´s recovery". International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies. September 5, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  2. ^ Project page for Petite Savanne-Pointe Mulatre Road, FAO. Retrieved October 16, 2006.
  3. ^ a b ""No sightseeing in Petite Savanne & Delices"". Cable Broadcasting Network 4. October 22, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  4. ^ Richard J. Pasch and Andrew B. Penny (February 8, 2016). Tropical Storm Erika (PDF) (Report). Tropical Cyclone Report. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  5. ^ Dominica: Tropical Storm Erika - Emergency appeal operations update no. 2 (MDRDM002) (PDF). International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (Report). ReliefWeb. January 21, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  6. ^ "Dominica Suffers over Half a Billion Dollars Worth of Damage to Roads and Bridges". Government of Dominica. 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  7. ^ a b CDEMA Situation Report #4 - Tropical Storm Erika (as of 1:00 am on August 30th, 2015) (PDF). Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (Situation Report). ReliefWeb. August 30, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  8. ^ "Dominica govt permanently relocating residents of area worst affected by Tropical Storm Erika". Roseau, Dominica: Caribbean360. September 9, 2015. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "Evacuation of Petite Savanne". Government of Dominica. 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "New community planned for Dominica residents displaced by Erika". Roseau, Dominica: Caribbean News Now. February 22, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2016.