Hurricane Maria Grows to a Category 5 Storm as It Nears Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico governor has declared a state of emergency.

#HurricaneMaria made landfall on Dominica as a cat 5 storm w/ 160mph winds. It's the strongest storm on record to make landfall in Dominica.

— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) September 19, 2017

Hurricane Maria has intensified to a category 5 storm. It is hitting Dominica and is rapidly approaching Puerto Rico with 160 mph winds.

Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime Minister of Dominica, took to Facebook to write of the devastation being caused by Maria. "My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding," he said. He was later rescued. 

"The extremely dangerous core of Maria is expected to pass over Dominica within the next hour or two," the National Hurricane Center announced in its 8 p.m. ET advisory Monday. "Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane warning has been issued for that island."

#Dominica radio reporting that Category 5 #HurricaneMaria is pulverizing the island. Roofs being blown off. People calling for help

— Adrian Harewood (@CarAdrianH) September 19, 2017

According to CNN, Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has declared a state of emergency, prompting residents to brace for another catastrophic storm. Caribbean Islands are still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma earlier this month. Puerto Rico authorities told CNN there are 450 shelters that can hold a total of 125,428 people in emergency situations; however, some of six of those shelters are schools that cannot be used, as they’ve had no electricity since Irma.

Praying for Dominica, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Barbuda, anyone in path of #HurricaneMaria 😢

— Kim Chernecky (@kchernecky) September 19, 2017

"We want to alert the people of Puerto Rico that this is not an event like we've ever seen before," Rosselló said, as reported by CNN. "[…] This is an event that will be damaging to the infrastructure, that will be catastrophic, and our main focus—our only focus right now—should be to make sure we save lives. It is time to seek refuge with a family member, friend, or move to a state shelter because rescuers will not go out and risk their lives once winds reach 50 miles per hour."

Catastrophic size #HurricaneMaria 160mph over #Dominica. Compact eye wall w/ hurricane force wind 25mi. from center. More @nbcbayarea 6:48

— Jeff Ranieri (@JeffRanieri) September 19, 2017

Stay tuned as more information about Hurricane Maria becomes available. 


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