‘Potentially Catastrophic’ Hurricane Maria Devastates Dominica, Heads For Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria has already left a streets flooded in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, on Tuesday.

Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

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Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

Hurricane Maria has already left a streets flooded in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, on Tuesday.

Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

Updated during 11:30 a.m. ET

Hurricane Maria is barreling toward a Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a “potentially catastrophic” Category 5 whirly and is foresee to proceed those islands Wednesday.

On a island of Dominica, that was raked by a charge late Monday, a primary apportion says that “initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far, we have mislaid all what income can buy and replace.”

“Preparations to strengthen life and skill should be rushed to completion,” a National Hurricane Center settled in a 11 a.m. ET advisory Tuesday, usually dual weeks after many of a same areas were ravaged by Hurricane Irma.

In a array of posts on Facebook, Roosevelt Skerrit, a primary apportion of Dominica, described a extinction to his possess home.

“We do not know what is function outside. We brave not demeanour out,” he wrote Monday evening. “Certainly no nap for anyone in Dominica. we trust my chateau might have postulated some damage.”

Minutes later, a primary apportion posted, “Rough! Rough! Rough!”

Then he wrote, “My roof is gone. we am during a finish forgiveness of a hurricane. House is flooding.”

Skerrit after pronounced he had been rescued. But a fact that a island nation’s primary apportion could see a roof fly off his possess home highlighted a risks for a people vital in a storm’s path.

“So, distant a winds have swept divided a roofs of roughly each chairman we have oral to or differently done strike with,” he wrote. “The roof to my possess central chateau was among a initial to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of ripped divided roofs in a city and a countryside.”

The National Hurricane Center says whirly warnings are in outcome for a islands of Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat, as good as for a British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The charge has limit postulated winds of around 160 miles per hour though has fluctuated in power over a past day. That is approaching to continue, forecasters say. However, a NHC adds, “Maria is foresee to sojourn an intensely dangerous difficulty 4 or 5 whirly until it moves nearby or over a Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.”

As of a NHC’s 11 a.m. advisory, Maria was located about 115 miles west of a Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, relocating west-northwest during 10 miles per hour.

It says Puerto Rico and a U.S. Virgin Islands could see H2O levels arise 6 to 9 feet, “if a arise swell occurs during a time of high tide.” The Leeward Islands and a British Virgin Islands could see H2O levels arise “by as most as 7 to 11 feet above normal waves levels.”

That is approaching to be accompanied by rainfall that “will means life-threatening peep floods and mudslides.”

Maria is following a opposite projected trail than Irma, as NPR’s Bill Chappell reported. That means “Puerto Rico and other islands that suffered usually glancing blows from Irma could now be directly confronted with whirly conditions.”

Authorities in Puerto Rico are job for “people in wooden or groundless homes” to find shelter, The Associated Press reports.

“You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you’re going to die,” pronounced Puerto Rico’s open reserve commissioner, Hector Pesquera, according to a news service. “I don’t know how to make this any clearer.”

Late Monday, President Trump certified puncture declarations for Puerto Rico and a U.S. Virgin Islands and certified sovereign assistance and disaster service efforts.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, pronounced 500 shelters were prepared to take families who evacuated. An interactive map expelled by a government, that can be found here, shows areas that are disposed to flooding as good as a locations of shelters opposite a island.

Debris litters a travel on a French island of St. Martin on Tuesday as residents ready for a attainment of Hurricane Maria.

Helene Valenzuela /AFP/Getty Images

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Helene Valenzuela /AFP/Getty Images

As NPR’s Colin Dwyer has reported, a U.S. domain is “already disorder from billions in debt” and is in a center of a debt-restructuring process. The mercantile conditions could make service efforts that most some-more difficult.

On islands already ravaged by Irma, there are fears that a second strike could make a dangerous conditions even worse by kicking adult piles of debris. BuzzFeed U.K.’s Jim Waterson, stating from a British Virgin Islands, tells NPR:

“There is so most things on a island. There’s no where to put it, it’s usually piled adult by a sides of roads. … And if Maria came in and picked adult shrapnel, essentially, picked adult pieces of glass, picked adult poles, this could be somehow some-more dangerous than a initial hit. Because during slightest thereafter all started off in one square and was ragged down. This time everything’s already damaged up.”

The U.K. troops has sent reinforcements to a islands. But Waterson says, “There’s not most they can do right now. It’s usually a box of watchful for a charge to pass and picking adult a pieces afterwards.”