The number of Canadians stranded in regions devastated by Hurricane Maria and seeking help from the federal government has jumped to 206, according to Global Affairs Canada.
Of those 206 Canadians, 196 are trapped on the island of Dominica, including 148 students from Ross University. The students are safe and residing in a shelter, Omar Alghabra, parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, confirmed Thursday.
A plan was in place to evacuate the students by boat to St. Lucia, but that action was delayed by a day due to “rough seas,” Global Affairs Canada said on Friday. Priority is being given to those with medical needs. Depending on sea conditions, the evacuations could begin on Friday, the department said.
Canadian airlines have flown approximately 6,000 people out of areas affected by the hurricane, Global Affairs said on Thursday.
Dominica was one of the hardest hit regions with at least 15 deaths blamed on the storm and hundreds of homes destroyed. The powerful hurricane ripped through the small Caribbean island late Monday before making landfall in Puerto Rico.
With files from The Associated Press