Environment

Hurricane Maria Devastates Dominica, Charges Towards Puerto Rico

http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.ssf/2017/09/hurricane_maria_now_potentiall.html
Hurricane Maria Devastates Dominica, Charges Towards Puerto Rico
Christina Comben

In what seems like the stuff of nightmares, yet another category 5 hurricane, Hurricane Maria, has formed in the Caribbean. In an already damaged area just days after many islands were decimated by Hurricane Irma, the Caribbean is being bashed again.

Yesterday we reported that three storms in the Atlantic could potentially threaten the United States. Today, it seems that Hurricane Maria has taken on unimagined and unexpected force.

The path of the hurricane is not expected to reach coastal US, but is currently still wreaking havoc over Dominica and leaving a path of devastation in its wake. Hurricane Maria is the strongest storm to ever make landfall in Dominica.

Economically crippled Puerto Rico, who dodged most of the worst of Irma, now braces to be hit with the full force of Hurricane Maria this Wednesday.

Hurricane Maria is expected to decrease slightly in intensity to a category 4 hurricane, which could batter the east of the country and the heavily populated capital, San Juan. Unlike Irma, which was categorized by heavy winds, Hurricane Maria has the potential to be so much more devastating, bringing with it vast amounts of water.

Hurricane Maria Damage So Far

The National Hurricane Center reported that Hurricane Maria was still ravishing Dominica, an island that largely missed the fury of Irma. Winds of up to 160 miles an hour have been recorded and “significant damage to structures” observed.

In fact, the relentless storm brutally ripped the roof off of the Dominica Prime Minister’s house, Roosevelt Skerrit, who tweeted “My roof is gone. I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane.”

Roosevelt Skerrit Tweet

He was later rescued, but it is not yet clear the extent of the damage over the rest of this island, although he posted on Facebook, “We have lost all that money can buy.”

Puerto Rico Braces For Double Hit

For the second time in the last few days, Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, issued a state of emergency for Puerto Rico. The US and British Virgin islands and Turks and Caicos are also among the islands devastated by Irma that are likely to take a second hit from a hurricane that is characterized by much more water, making it even more dangerous than Irma.

Both Puerto Rican citizens and evacuees from neighboring islands seeking temporary shelter in Puerto Rico are now preparing for the worst, once again.

“This sort of event is a very dangerous event, high winds, a slow storm and a lot of rainfall. And this coming just about two weeks after Irma skirted off the northeast of Puerto Rico,” said Rosselló.

“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.”

The Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan is currently still home to Irma evacuees. Now it is preparing to accept thousands more fleeing residents looking to ride out the storm safely. Hurricane Maria is expected to have catastrophic consequences, but the main importance is on preserving life right now.

International Aid

President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for the US Virgin Islands, while the British Foreign Office has said that there are 1,300 troops in the area ready to help after Maria leaves. Significant numbers are already deployed on the British Virgin islands.

In a hurricane season that still has almost two months to go, 2017 has been a devastating year and the worst, for many, is still to come.

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