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And they call the wind 'Maria' Printer friendly page Print This
By Staff Writers, BBC
BBC Newsworld
Monday, Sep 18, 2017

Caribbean islands prepare for Hurricane Maria

The likely path of Hurricane Maria, as it nears devastated islands

Some of the Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma are preparing themselves for a possible second major storm in two weeks. Tropical Storm Maria was upgraded to a category one hurricane force on Sunday by the US National Hurricane Center.

It is currently following roughly the same path as Irma, and is expected to strengthen over the next 48 hours. As a result, hurricane warnings have been issued for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat.

A hurricane watch is now in effect for the US and British Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Barts, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla.

Some the islands were hit by Hurricane Irma - the category five storm which left at least 37 people dead and caused billions of dollars' worth of damage - earlier this month.
Hurricane Irma: A visual guide

In its update at 21:00 GMT on Sunday, the NHC said Maria had maximum sustained winds of 75mph (120 km/h) and was expected to cross the Leeward Islands on Monday night. The eye of the storm was 140 miles east-northeast of Barbados, and Maria was moving west-northwest at about 15mph.

Earlier this month, Irma left more than two-thirds of homes on the Dutch side of the island of St Martin (known as Sint Maarten) uninhabitable, with no electricity, gas or drinking water.

The French government has said its side of St Martin - known as Saint-Martin - sustained about €1.2bn ($1.44bn; £1.1bn) in damage, with nine deaths across Saint-Martin and St Barts.

On the British Virgin Islands, entire neighbourhoods were flattened.

After a visit to the area, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described the damage as something "you see in images of from the First World War".

Virgin boss Richard Branson, who has a home in the Virgin Islands, has been tweeting ahead of the storm's predicted arrival, warning people to stay safe.






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