Hurricane Maria grows on fearsome Irma's path

19 Septembre, 2017, 06:22 | Author: Cyril Hebras
  • Tortola

Hurricane Maria is rapidly intensifying in the Caribbean.

Forecasters are warning it will probably be a major storm by the time it passes through the Leewards late on Monday (local time). Hurricane watches were up in Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, the island shared by French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten, St. Barts and Anguilla.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Maria will swing more northward than Maria.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin and Anguilla.

Hurricane Irma broke weather records when it sustained winds of 295 kilometers per hour (183 miles per hour) for more than 33 hours.

It is expected to reach Martinique by 1pm United Kingdom time on Monday, Guadeloupe by 7pm United Kingdom time and St Kitts and Nevis by 1am on Tuesday.

"Maria continues to strengthen and is expected to be at major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing risky wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards", the hurricane center said.

British troops and sailors have been helping to rebuild some of communities left shattered after category five Irma smashed through the Caribbean just over a week ago.

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Maria puts many of those same areas at risk - including the Virgin Islands, parts of which were hit by Irma's eye wall before that storm veered north. Maria's different approach also means that Puerto Rico and other islands that suffered only glancing blows from Irma could now be directly confronted with hurricane conditions. Gov. Ricardo Rossello has been leading preparations in the US territory.

A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds.

Almost 500 shelters have been opened across Puerto Rico, as the storm expects to make landfall by Tuesday evening.

It is too soon to know whether or not Maria will impact the USA coast, including the Carolinas. Maria could dump 6 to 12 inches of rain across the Leeward Islands - including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands - through Wednesday night.

The Baja California Sur state government prepared storm shelters and canceled classes for Monday.

In Guadeloupe, officials warned the island could be hit with heavy flooding while in nearby Martinique, authorities ordered people to remain indoors and be ready for power outages and water shortages.

With Jose moving north at 9 miles per hour, a tropical storm watch is in effect for areas from Fenwick Island to Sandy Hook; Delaware Bay South; East Rockaway Inlet to Plymouth; Block Island; Martha's Vineyard; and Nantucket.

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