News

Hurricane Maria Heads Northwest After Hammering Puerto Rico

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 20, 2017

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Hurricane Maria clobbered Puerto Rico on Wednesday, sending it into a total island-wide blackout, with reports of significant property damage.

It was not yet clear how much damage had been wrought, nor was it yet possible to determine the number of injuries or potential deaths.

Maria hit Puerto Rico with more than 20 inches of rain and serious flooding, with conditions strong enough to knock out radar and telecommunications.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello imposed a curfew at 6 PM on Wednesday evening, calling it “essential to maintain order.”

Rossello said he had already asked US President Donald Trump to declare Puerto Rico a Disaster Zone.

The Dominican Republic was next in Maria’s path; the storm was 95 miles north-northwest of Punta Cana at 8 AM Thursday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour.

The eye of Maria was forecast to continue to pass offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic before moving near the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas later Thursday.

A hurricane warning was in effect for the Dominican Republic between Cabo Engano and Puerto Plata, along with the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border with Haiti and the Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque.

The storm was set to pass offshore the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic early Thursday before moving toward the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas Thursday night and Friday.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello imposed a curfew on Wednesday evening.

Maria was now a category 3 huricane, with some strengthening possible in the next day or so, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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