A Category 4 hurricane is defined by the NHC as being able to rip off roofs of well-built framed homes, causing power outages. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 12 miles per hour (mph) and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Thursday night.
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.
Hurricane Maria is now a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said "major damage is inevitable" in the USA territory and that officials had set up 500 shelters with more than 10,000 people sheltering inside. Even those at the always-sturdy National Hurricane Center acknowledge that they are "starting to run out of adjectives".
"We will rebuild our island with federal and state funds, hard work and the spirit of all Puerto Rican citizens", Cortes said. They were killed in Bayamon, just southwest of San Juan, after being hit in the head by a wooden panel.
The city of Guayama was inundated with flooding at Hurricane Maria passed over the Caribbean island. That reality is devastatingly apparent in the above video posted on Twitter by meteorologist for the Weather Channel, Mike Seidel.
Maria has caused at least 10 deaths across the Caribbean, including seven in the hard-hit island of Dominica and two in the French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe.
The U.S. Virgin Islands had set up an to help St. John and Thomas after Hurricane Irma, and is now using the web page to raise funds to help with recovery after Hurricane Maria.
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He added: "To prepare for an emergency, we would like to make every effort possible to protect the people's safety". A U.S. official said that Trump would later Thursday make an announcement of further sanctions on North Korea .
Maria's eye was located about 25 kilometers southwest of San Juan at 9 am eastern time, the US National Hurricane Center said.
St. Thomas experienced a sea surge of up to 12 feet after Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, September 19, leading to enormous flooding and the closure of the island's seaports.
Images shared on social media show roofs being stripped away as winds as strong as 140 miles per hour (225 km/h) whipped trees and power lines in Puerto Rico's capital city, San Juan. As for Puerto Rico, residents will be hoping for the best just as the storm looks to be bringing the worst.
Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, killed 38 people in the Caribbean and another 36 in the US, leaving a trail of widespread destruction on several Caribbean islands and the Florida Keys.
Areas like Duxbury MA, and Plymouth MA have already reported some downed trees.
Edwin Rosario, a 79-year-old retired government worker, said an economic crisis that has sparked an exodus of almost half a million Puerto Ricans to the USA mainland will only make the island's recovery harder. The government has been unable to pay out full government pensions or continue some much needed public services, such as education. Puerto Rico isn't going to be the same.
Those who live from North Carolina's Outer Banks to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, should monitor the storm for any changes, he added.
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