Another hurricane wreaks havoc on islands in the Atlantic.
Hurricane Maria is the latest in a long line of tropical storm devastation that has plagued those who live in cities or on islands in close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico or the Western part of the Atlantic Ocean. According to new information published by CNN this morning, Maria has already caused major damage to the nation of Dominica and is barreling towards Puerto Rico, with all signs pointing to an equally dark outlook for anyone currently residing there.
"Initial reports are of widespread devastation," Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit confirmed via Facebook last night, with other sources stating that the 73,000 occupants of the island have had their homes and lives left in ruins. Unstoppable winds of 160 mph (257 kph) tore through much of the island, with the intensity of the storm not slowing in any significant way as it hurtles down a trajectory that puts Puerto Rico next in its path. "So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is ... news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains," Skerrit added.
There is now a hurricane warning is in effect for the following locations: Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques. The National Hurricane Center confirmed that "a dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands." Guadeloupe's government used Twitter to issue a warning to its residents today (September 19th): "Don't go out under any circumstances."
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has also declared a state of emergency, with US President Donald Trump also issuing an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, with federal assistance on the way from the American government. Once a location for those displaced by the onslaught of devastation perpetrated by Hurricane Irma, both evacuees and native Puerto Ricans are now bracing another incredibly strong storm to enter their lives. "This is an event that will be damaging to the infrastructure, that will be catastrophic," Rosselló said. "Our only focus right now should be to make sure we save lives." The governor says that 500 shelters are available on the island.