Puerto Rico warns 'evacuate or die' as Maria approaches

Puerto Rico warns 'evacuate or die' as Maria approaches

The National Hurricane Centre said Maria landed near Yabucoa, in the east of Puerto Rico, packing winds of 250km/h and moving northwest at 16km/h.

The Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour is threatening to decimate the power company's crumbling infrastructure and force the government to rebuild dozens of communities.

The center said it was expected to remain an "extremely dangerous" category 4 or 5 hurricane when it passes near or over the Virgin Islands overnight, and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

The governor of Puerto Rico, a USA territory, has told the island's 3.5 million people to seek shelter with the hurricane poised to make landfall around 8am local time (1300 GMT). The last Category 4 hurricane landfall in Puerto Rico occurred in 1932, and the strongest storm to ever hit the island was San Felipe in 1928 with winds of 160 miles per hour.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday night to say, "Be careful, our hearts are with you".

Just one Category 5 hurricane has hit Puerto Rico in recorded history, back in 1928.

The territory had already been reeling from Irma's impact, with power outages expected to last for weeks.

Читайте также: White House: No change in U.S. position on Paris accord

San Juan prepares for Hurricane Maria.

"How would I know if something happened to her, if I can't hear from her and no one can get to her?" he said.

It's been less than two weeks since Hurricane Irma slammed into the Eastern Caribbean as a Category 4 storm, devastating numerous tiny islands in its path before barreling into Florida.

More than 60 percent of the island was without electrcity.

Maria brushed by the French island of Martinique on Tuesday, leaving most of the island unscathed.

About 80,000 homes lost power in Guadeloupe. We could see a few storms on Wednesday. "She starts crying and I start crying".

"I think over the next 48 to 72 hours, we'll have a better idea of how this will play out", said First Alert Meteorologist Tim Miller Tuesday morning.

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