By Frances Kerry
Hurricane Ivan killed at least 20 people as it laid waste to the tiny spice island of Grenada, officials said on Wednesday as the storm swept through the Caribbean heading west.
Ivan, a dangerous Category 4 storm on a five-step scale of hurricane intensity, slammed into Grenada, a volcanic island of 90,000 people in the southeastern Caribbean on Tuesday, flattening or badly damaging homes and cutting power.
"Our diplomats are reporting that there are 20 confirmed deaths," said a State Department official in Washington.
The airport in the former British colony was closed and authorities were trying to open it for emergency flights, the official said.
With the island cut off, the extent of the damage began to emerge only on Wednesday.
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