Hurricane Maria Wrecks Puerto Rico

By Faith Magbanua, September 21, 2017 02:09 AM

Hurricane Maria(Facebook)

Category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Maria, hits Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning.

The devastation happened as fast as it came and the typhoon ripped trees out of the ground while hammering two-thirds of the island with hurricane-force winds.

"This is total devastation," said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico's governor. "Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. ... This is something of historic proportions."

At the present time, Maria has killed seven people on the Caribbean island nation of Dominica according to Gaston Browne, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda. Browne said he had been communicating with the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, whose own house was shredded by the storm.

Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Wednesday near the city of Yabucoa with winds of 155 mph according to the National Hurricane Center. By 10 a.m., those winds had weakened to 145 mph, but Maria was still a Category 4 hurricane capable of ripping roofs off houses.

The storm was so fierce, it broke two National Weather Service radars on the island.

Meanwhile, calls for rescue immediately started pouring in -- but to no avail.

"First responders cannot go out there," Mercader said, echoing the governor's earlier warning that emergency crews wouldn't go outside in winds stronger than 50 mph.

Maria was expected to create widespread power outages across Puerto Rico. Shortly after landfall, the hurricane had wiped out power in the east coast city of Fajardo and thousands of Puerto Ricans heeded calls to go to emergency shelters. "As of 2:30 a.m. we count 10,059 refugees and 189 pets (in shelters)," the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, tweeted.

Category 4 hurricane

Maria became the first hurricane of Category 4 strength or higher in nearly 80 years to hit the US territory, which is home to 3.3 million people while warning of storm surges of 6 to 9 feet were expected.

Residents crouched down in their homes and shelters ahead of the direct impact of the typhoone, others in the most vulnerable, low-lying, flood-prone areas were evacuated.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan -- which was still housing Hurricane Irma evacuees from other Caribbean islands -- is preparing to accept thousands more residents who wish to evacuate.

According from a statement given by BBC's Derek Van Dam "A lot of people remember or have heard of the storms that hit in 1928 and 1930. Well, guess what? This could pale those in comparison. ... It will go down in the record books."


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