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Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Brace for the Approach of Powerful Maria

Published 19th September 2017, 9:38am

At 8 AM AST, September 19th Hurricane Maria was located about 175 miles south east of St. Croix. Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph with higher gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday. Areas near the eye of Maria will experience a rise in sea level of between 7 to 11 feet (due to storm surge); in addition, Hurricane Maria will bring very large battering waves.