Hurricane Maria smashes Dominica, takes aim at other islands

Andrew Cummings
September 20, 2017

Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands are recovering from Hurricane Irma, which came through September 6 and Sept 7.

At this point, however, it's too early to tell where Maria will go or if a US landfall will take place.

This could, in fact, turn out to be true as Maria is set to hit the island as a category five storm in a few hours, with sustained wind speeds of 270 km per hour.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques, the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas. It is forecast to remain an extremely risky Category 4 or 5 hurricane.

"They just got electricity back yesterday in some parts", Dr. Jyl Rubin said.

In Puerto Rico, the governor has told the island's 3.5 million people to seek shelter and safety with the hurricane looking to make landfall around 8am local time.

"This is going to be an extremely violent phenomenon", Gov. Ricardo Rossello said.

The NHC said Maria is expected to lash Puerto Rico with up 25 inches of rain in some places and pour as much as 16 inches over the US and British Virgin Islands.

Many people are still dealing with the massive wave of destruction from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and the bad news is that it might not be over. "We live in La Perla, and that's not safe right now", Rodriguez said. "Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help".

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said in Paris on Tuesday that the hurricane left 80,000 households in Guadeloupe and 70,000 in Martinique without power.

She says Dominica will be in desperate need of aid and emergency supplies in the coming days.

Maria's 255 kilometer per hour winds had already roared into the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica on Tuesday, with official communications to the island completely cut off in the wake of the storm.

The Category 5 storm killed one person and injured two others as it tore through Guadeloupe on Monday evening, officials on the French island confirmed.

"Definitely glad I made it out", one traveler said.

St. Croix was largely spared the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irma on St. Thomas and St. John just two weeks ago.

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