In less than two days, Hurricane Maria has strengthened from a tropical storm to a powerful category five hurricane, dubbed in no uncertain terms as “catastrophic” by the NHC. Though it has been downgraded to a category 4 overnight, the storm made landfall on the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica, leaving it utterly “devastated,” according to the island’s prime minister.
“We’re just waiting for daybreak to do an assessment of the damage,” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told CNN’s Rosemary Church.
The storm, which made landfall Monday night, has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, and remains on track to directly hit Puerto Rico, what would make it the first category four hurricane to directly hit the island in 85 years, according to CNN. Skerrit said the island’s “first order of business” following the storm would be to make sure “every single citizen and resident is safe.”
A statement from the National Hurricane Center said Maria’s winds reached 160 miles per hour when it hit the island nation. In an update, the Center said that reports “indicate significant damage to structures has occurred in Dominica.”
In a Facebook post, Skerrit said “initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. 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.”
Meanwhile, the storm early Tuesday morning made landfall on the tiny island Guadalupe, where it is battering homes and businesses with torrential rains and hurricane-force winds…
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