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Hurricane Maria thrashes Puerto Rico causing widespread outages


Hurricane Maria hit San Juan, Puerto Rico, earlier this morning and is continuing to keep the island under her wrath this afternoon.

The Hurricane Center has warned that winds of greater than 155 miles per hour could affect higher elevations and tall buildings along the storm's path, particularly south-facing slopes. Although she has weakened some as she has gone over land, Maria has picked up speed and is still a very powerful, dangerous storm.

Governor Rosselló said officials were bracing for the "worst hurricane in modern history in Puerto Rico".

The hurricane slammed Puerto Rico with such intensity, it broke two National Weather Service radars on the island.

All Sánchez could respond was that the extent of Maria's injury would take days to grasp. The Post also reported Puerto Rico's weather radar had failed as the storm came ashore, complicating efforts to monitor the weather system.

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Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria ripped off roofs and downed trees as it passed west of St. Croix, home to about half of the U.S. Virgin Islands' 103,000 residents, as a rare Category 5 storm, the top of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. "This is something of historic proportions".

Maria is also forecast to approach the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night, but the Caribbean nation is not expected to get directly hit. At just 31 he was the youngest prime minister since the country became independent of the United Kingdom in 1978. "It's close to hospitals and emergency centers".

Two other people are missing after a boat sank off the coast of La Désirade, a smaller island near the mainland of Guadeloupe.

One bit of good news emerged from the Caribbean: The French island of Martinique suffered no major damage, the French Interior Ministry tweeted Tuesday. Little contact has been made with the outer communities but persons who walked 10 and 15 miles towards the city of Roseau from various outer districts report total destruction of homes, some roadways and crops.

Chris Austin, head of the UK Task Force, said they have had civilians and military "working around the clock" to provide emergency relief in the form of shelter, food and water.

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Some tourists found themselves stranded on the island as flights, already overbooked and increasingly expensive, became unavailable.

The centre said preparations against a "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall, flooding and destructive winds" should be "rushed to completion".

Strong winds and the potential for flooding is the biggest concern on the island, and sandbags line the streets downtown as shop owners try to protect water from getting in.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Dominica has suffered a "tremendous loss of housing and public buildings" since the storm hit, ripping off roofs and tearing doors from hinges.

"Without electricity, communications for a while with our family so that I worry about but I want to tell my family that I'll be OK", said Hernandez. The tracking models increasingly agree Maria will curve north out to sea after passing near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. And the people that were here left. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. "In summary, the island has been devastated".

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