Monster Hurricane Maria Approaches Puerto Rico

RFA Mounts Bay Grand Turk island

It was largely spared by Hurricane Irma when it roared through the Caribbean as a Category 5 hurricane earlier this month.

Of those storms, Irma and Maria have reached rare "Category 5" status, with sustained winds of 160mph.

Hurricane Maria roared ashore in Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the strongest storm to hit the US territory in about 90 years after lashing the US Virgin Islands and devastating a string of tiny Caribbean islands, killing at least two people.

A hurricane warning was also in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques, and the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata. Data from San Juan's radar - before it went down - and observations from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft showed that the outer eye wall was now dominant and had increased from 10 nautical miles to 30.

Later that day the ISS published a video showing the tropical cyclone from above.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to say, "Be careful, our hearts are with you". Puerto Rico has opened 500 shelters as it prepares for the powerful hurricane.


He said the island's immediate priority was to rescue people who were trapped and provide medical care to the injured.

Boats remain anchored in a wharf as Hurricane Maria approaches in Guadeloupe island, France, on September 18, 2017.

Two other main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John, were devastated. Many on the island are still without water.

"We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds", he said.

Dailey noted that her house on the island lost its roof, as did the official residence of the prime minister, Roosevelt Skeritt.

"Well, we've had bigger storms than this", he told reporters last week. "That is not going to happen because we are blessed, we're a blessed island and I think it's not going to happen as long as God is in front of it", said Chef Sio of Boricua Kitchen.

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