Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall in Puerto Rico

Environment | September 20, 2017, Wednesday // 15:25|  views

Hurricane Maria, the devastating storm pushing north-west through the Caribbean, has landed in Puerto Rico, reported BBC.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it arrived in Yabucoa in the east of the US territory, producing winds of 150 mph (250 km/h).

The hurricane is now around 24km (15 miles) southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico's capital.

Earlier it ploughed through St Croix in the US Virgin Islands, home to around 55,000 people.

Dominica was badly hit on Monday night and aerial footage shows flattened houses. Details are scant as communication links are down.

Shortly before making landfall in Puerto Rico, the storm was downgraded from category five to category four by the NHC.

Maria was similarly downgraded on Tuesday only to be upgraded again to category five.

The governor of Puerto Rico has told the island's 3.5 million people to seek shelter.

Maria is the second storm of this strength to hit the Caribbean this hurricane season - the first being category five Irma earlier in September. Maria began moving roughly along the same track as Irma.

Officials in Puerto Rico fear the debris left by Irma could now prove extremely dangerous in the high winds.

There are also concerns that heavy rain could cause landslides in some places, and that a predicted storm surge of up to 9ft (2.7m) could swamp low-lying areas.

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Tags: landfall, hurricane, Maria, United States, Puerto Rico


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