Published: Wed, September 20, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Dangerous Hurricane Maria taking aim at Puerto Rico

If Maria holds its current strength, it will be the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years.

Charna Boquette, a Dexter native living in the US territory, said the mood is anxious as Category 5 Hurricane Maria approaches.

Authorities said 40 per cent of households in the territory of some 400,000 had no electricity, and 25 per cent of landlines had been cut.

Maria's landfall makes the third time this year that the USA has been hit by a Category 4 hurricane.

A hurricane warning was in effect for Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands, as well as St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat and portions of the Dominican Republic.

By the overnight, sustained winds in the city weakened to about 17 miles per hour, with wind gusts of about 28 miles per hour.

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit posted this online during Hurricane Maria.

On Monday night, Maria quickly turned from a Category 1 storm to a Category 5, making it one of the fastest-growing storms in history, according to Mashable.

Maria is now a category 5 hurricane, with sustained wind speeds of 165 miles per hour. "I want them to take her to a shelter".

In Puerto Rico, the government has set up shelters as it prepares to accommodate storm evacuees.

Both President Trump and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló have issued emergency declarations.

The National Weather Service is forecasting catastrophic damage as Puerto Rico deals with a direct hit from Hurricane Maria Wednesday morning.

Maria killed one person in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe when a tree fell on them Tuesday, and two people aboard a boat were reported missing off La Desirade island, just east of Guadeloupe, officials said. "Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help!"

On Tuesday, the eye of Maria was seen moving towards St. Croix in the Virgin Islands.

Dominica Consul General Barbara Dailey said officials hadn't been able to communicate with anyone on the island since 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Maria has weakened but is expected to remain a major hurricane through Friday, forecasters said. The damage from these two storms is hitting an island already crippled with more than $70 billion in debt and an aging infrastructure that, on its best days, was in very bad shape.

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