It did not cite any source for the number of deaths, though Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit suggested yesterday that the toll was in the range of 20.

Dominica's Works and Communications Minister Ian Pinnar told a radio station that authorities had recovered 14 bodies and were searching for at least 25 people listed as missing.

While a spokesperson for the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency, based in Barbados, said as many as 30 people were missing in Dominica.

Most of the 27 fatalities were in the southeastern area of Petite Savanne, according to report.

The worst natural disaster in Dominica's recent history was in 1979, when Hurricane David caused 32 deaths.

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