Published: Wed, September 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Hurricane Maria devastates Dominica; expected to reach Puerto Rico tomorrow

Hurricane Maria devastates Dominica; expected to reach Puerto Rico tomorrow

The National Hurricane Center says the eye and the intense inner core is expected to pass near Dominica during the next few hours. According to the NHC, the hurricane is stronger than expected, and while it may not make landfall, high winds, rain, and risky currents are expected all along the Eastern coast.

The prime minister said authorities would set out in the morning, once it was deemed safe to venture out, to search for people who were injured or trapped in rubble. All schools and non-essential public services were closed.

Category 5 Hurricane Maria is ploughing through the Caribbean amid fears that it could head towards America next week.

Hurricane Maria had maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour late Monday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Dominicana The island was heavily damaged on Monday night through to Tuesday, when the hurricane made landfall.

The US National Hurricane Center has issued warnings to islands including Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands after recording 160mph winds. "Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the USA and British Virgin Islands". 1,200 citizens fled from Saint Martin and Saint Thomas to Puerto Rico and more than 50 patients have been airlifted to Puerto Rican hospitals, according to The New York Times.

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Maria marks the 13th named Atlantic storm of the year, the seventh hurricane so far this season and the fourth major hurricane - defined as Category 3 or higher - following Harvey, Irma and Jose. All five were taken to a hospital with minor and major injuries.

On Sept. 8, Hurricane Jose brought catastrophic winds to an already ravaged Barbuda but was recently downgraded to a tropical storm. Some team members are from the same team that recently returned on Saturday from Puerto Rico.

Norma had winds of about 85 kph and it was centred about 255 kilometres southwest of Cabo San Lucas.

Rosselló has ordered evacuations while officials prepared for the storm.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

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