Hurricane Maria becomes 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 storm as it approaches Caribbean

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Hurricane Maria becomes 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 storm as it approaches Caribbean

Post by Sassy on Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:10 pm

Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for the US Virgin Islands

Hurricane Maria has become an "extremely dangerous" category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm, which is currently located over the French Caribbean island of Martinique, is maintaining winds of nearly 130 mph (215 km/h). The Hurricane Center predicts it will strengthen over the next 24 to 36 hours.

The hurricane is forecast to move northwest, over Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands, and then proceed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday night.

The Hurricane Center warned of "large and destructive waves" and life-threatening surf and rip tides at the centre of the hurricane. Surrounding islands could be hit by rain strong enough to produce life-threatening floods and mudslides.

President Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for the US Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands were devastated by Hurricane Irma just weeks ago. The category 4 storm killed dozens of people across the Caribbean, and damaged 90 per cent of the buildings on several islands. Some areas are still without power.

“I don’t think anybody’s ever been hit by a storm like that," Beth Tamplin Jones, a Virgin Islands resident, told Reuters of Irma. "To see another one coming is just so discouraging.”

The storm does look likely to pass over Barbuda and Antigua – two of the islands hit worst by Hurricane Irma – but could still send strong winds and rain their way.

The National Guard has put the deployment of more than 100 hurricane recovery troops on hold in anticipation of the coming storm.

Puerto Rico, meanwhile, has not been hit by a hurricane this strong since 1928. The last hurricane to hit the US territory directly was Hurricane Georges in 1998.

Nevertheless, the outer edges of Irma send punishing winds and rain to Puerto Rico. Eighty-five per cent of people in the metropolitan area of the capital, San Juan, still do not have power.

The country is now being forced to ration basic supplies, including water, as residents rush to grocery stores in anticipation of Maria. State officials have opened more than 400 shelters, and warned residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate.

“Flood-prone areas must be abandoned," Public Security Secretary Héctor Pesquera said. "If not, you will die."

The President's emergency declaration mobilises the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) to coordinate disaster relief efforts. The declaration also frees up federal funding for hurricane relief.

If the weather in that area continues along these line, there is going to be nothing left. If only we could have time travelled climate change deniers from the 1960s onwards and shown them how this was just the start of it.

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Re: Hurricane Maria becomes 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 storm as it approaches Caribbean

Post by Sassy on Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:24 am

Hurricane Maria: Dominica loses 'all what money can buy' as Category 5 storm batters Caribbean island

'Initial reports are of widespread devastation,' says Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit

Dominica’s Prime Minister has said Hurricane Maria has stripped the island of “all what money can buy”.

The Category 5 storm slammed into the small Caribbean island overnight.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit captured the terrifying power of Hurricane Maria in a series of Facebook posts, writing that he was “at the complete mercy” of the storm.

After being rescued, he said: “We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.”

He added: “Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace.

“So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with.

“The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside.

“My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”

Maria’s sustained wind speeds reached 160mph, with higher gusts, on Monday night.

Dominica is a former British colony home to 72,000 people that lies in the eastern Caribbean about halfway between the French islands of Guadeloupe, to the north, and Martinique, to the south.

As the storm—the second major hurricane to pass through the region in the past few weeks—moved in, Mr Skerrit wrote: “We do not know what is happening outside. We not dare look out. All we are hearing is the sound of galvanize flying. The sound of the fury of the wind. As we pray for its end!”

Hurricane warnings have also been issued for Guadeloupe, St Kitts and Nevis, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico where a state of emergency has been declared amid fears of a direct hit, just weeks after Hurricane Irma struck.

Up to 15in (38cm) of rain is predicted to fall as Maria barrels across the Caribbean, with “isolated maximum amounts of 20in (51cm)” expected to deluge the British Virgin Islands.

In Anguilla up to 8in (20cm) could be recorded. The National Hurricane Centre has warned that “rainfall on these islands could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides”.

If Maria retains its strength, it would be the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years, since a Category 4 storm swept the US island territory in 1932, Hurricane Centre spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

The last major hurricane to strike Puerto Rico directly was Georges, which made landfall there as a Category 3 storm in 1998, he said. The territory was dealt a glancing blow by Irma earlier this month.

Maria weakened overnight to a Category 4 storm, it was reported, but forecasters said it remained extremely dangerous.

Utterly terrifying.
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