UN appeals for $31 million for hurricane-battered Dominica

The U.N. humanitarian office has launched a $31 million emergency appeal for Dominica, which was left in tatters after Hurricane Maria battered the Caribbean island as a category 5 storm.

The United Nations said Friday the appeal aims to provide aid to 65,000 people through December. It said $3 million was expected to be released later in the day from the Central Emergency Response Fund for Dominica.

A week ago Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit urged the U.N. General Assembly to "let these extraordinary events elicit extraordinary efforts to rebuild nations sustainably."

Hurricane Maria swept over Dominica on Sept. 18 with 160 mph (260 kph) winds. Earlier this week police reported that 19 people died and 29 were still missing.

Skerrit said the destruction was "beyond imagination."