Hurricane Maria Regains Strength After Passing Through Dominica

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As Category 5 Hurricane Maria churns in the Caribbean late Tuesday, it is expected to strike the island head on.

Hurricane Maria hit the coastal town of Yabucoa in southeastern Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami reported.

A hurricane warning is in effect for several islands in the Caribbean, including Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat, Martinique, St. Lucia, and the US and British Virgin Islands.

"Maria is likely to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by midweek as a unsafe major hurricane".

Before hitting Puerto Rico, Maria was supposed to lash the US Virgin Islands, creating waves of up to 25 feet on St. Croix.

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Reports from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the area of hurricane-force winds has increased in size.

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

Only one Category 5 hurricane has ever made landfall on the island of Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States. The island's population is about 9,000 people.

"We're in hurricane alley, so we've had other storms, but nothing like this", Jones said, referring to Irma, which was one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded and which killed more than 80 people on Caribbean islands and the USA mainland.

As Jose heads further out to sea, the concern for many is now Hurricane Maria.

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The impact on the USA territory is expected to be devastating, forecasts said. However, Iris's family and many other islanders plan to ride out the storm in their homes. "That doesn't mean it is coming for us".

He expects the entire island to lose power and be in a blackout for days.

Maria also roared across Dominica earlier on Tuesday, causing widespread damage and knocking out virtually all communication towers.

"We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history", Ricardo Rossello, governor of Puerto Rico said in a televised message.

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