puerto rico virgin islands brace
Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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Last Updated : GMT 07:25:12
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for Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

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Arab Today, arab today Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

Most models are forecasting Maria will stay away from Florida and the U.S. mainland.
Puerto Rico - Arab Today

As residents of Puerto Rico brace for Hurricane Maria -- which slammed into the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm Monday night -- Puerto Rico's governor is calling the storm "the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century."

Maria, which has left at least two dead in the Caribbean, is forecast to "remain an extremely dangerous Category 4 or 5 hurricane" as it approaches Puerto Rico early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Maria could bring life-threatening flooding and mudslides, as well as a 6- to 9-foot storm surge, to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are also possible, especially in mountainous regions in Puerto Rico.

As of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Maria's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 160 mph, but it remained a Category 5 storm. Maria's maximum sustained winds had been as high as 175 mph during the day Tuesday. It was located 35 miles west of St. Croix and 70 miles southeast of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. The storm is expected to reach the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning.

President Donald Trump tweeted his best wishes and pledged support for the U.S. territory late Tuesday.

Early Wednesday, a gust of 137 mph had been reported in the western part of St. Croix as the storm moved west-northwest at 10 mph.

The prefecture of Guadeloupe announced early Wednesday two people were killed in the hurricane, and two others were missing.

A palm tree in St. Thomas appeared to be nearly uprooted as the storm moved over the island in video posted to Facebook.

Hurricane warnings are in effect in St. Kitts and Nevis, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic.

The storm -- which is expected to bring life-threatening winds, storm surge and flooding -- will be violent, the governor of Puerto Rico warned today. The governor advised residents to be prepared to hunker down for 72 to 90 hours.

The eye of the storm is expected to approach the eastern part of Puerto Rico and make landfall between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Heavy winds and gusts over 100 mph for the eastern part of the island in the morning, while strong winds will affect San Juan into the afternoon hours.

It's been just two weeks since Hurricane Irma, which killed at least 39 people in the Caribbean and demolished homes, tore through Puerto Rico, and now Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello is saying Maria is "potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit" the U.S. territory in a century.

Rossello said up to 25 inches of rain could fall in some areas and he urged anyone in a flood-prone, mudslide-prone or coastal area to leave. Over 300 people are already at shelters as of this afternoon, the governor said.

Rossello said a lot of infrastructure will likely be lost and he said communications will be affected.

The governor in an address this afternoon said, "We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history."

When Irma tore through the Caribbean, Rossello said, "the people of Puerto Rico not only demonstrated our resilience but we banded together to show our kindness and hospitality to thousands of our fellow Americans in the U.S. Virgin Islands, BVI, St. Marteen and beyond."

Source: AFP

 

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