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Devastating Maria's center makes landfall in Puerto Rico

20 Septembre 2017

The forecasting service is expecting at least four more named storms, two of which may be hurricane strength, and at least one of which may be a major hurricane.

Authorities said 40 per cent of households in the territory of some 400,000 had no electricity, and 25 per cent of landlines had been cut.

Hurricane Maria strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane at the top of the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale as it swept across the Caribbean on Monday night, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm is expected to bring up to 16 inches of rain to the USA and British Virgin Islands and up to 25 inches to Puerto Rico, causing potentially deadly flash floods and mudslides. "We shall survive by the grace of God", Skerrit said on Facebook. "House is flooding", he wrote as the island was slammed by 160-mph winds, adding soon after: "I have been rescued".

Maximum sustained winds were recorded at 165 miles per hour as the storm moved west-northwest at a speed of 10 miles per hour - a direction which was expected to continue through Wednesday.

Rubin was also in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Hugo hit the island in 1989.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the U.S. territory would "have to rebuild".

Hurricane Maria landed on Puerto Rico on Wednesday as officials urged residents to seek shelter and warned that the Category 4 storm's powerful winds would be life-threatening and necessitate the rebuilding of dozens of communities across the island.

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"Probably in the seven days [after Irma], we could have done more if the municipalities had more cash flow, which they did not", McClintock says, as he was preparing to go outside and survey the damage.

Puerto Rico, still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Irma, is now bracing for a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. "Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help!"

Maria continues to move west-northwest at about 10 miles per hour.

"This is an unprecedented atmospheric system", he said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, there are still more than 70,000 people without power from Hurricane Irma, she said.

With Tropical Storm Jose sitting off-shore, New Yorkers avoided its worst effects Tuesday.

"Our islands are extremely vulnerable right now", said Orlando Smith, the prime minister. Two others aboard a boat were reported missing off La Desirade island, officials told the news agency.