Hurricane Maria is rapidly gaining strength and aims at the Caribbean islands that were devastated by Irma just a few days ago
It is believed that Maria, which is currently a storm, will turn into a Category 4 hurricane as soon as it hits the Leeward Islands over the next couple of days, according to the National Hurricane Center’s update.
On Sunday, Maria was about 100 miles northeast of Barbados and somewhere around 210 miles east-southeast of Dominica. It turned into a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 85 mph, and is believed to continue its path toward the Caribbean with a speed of 13 mph.
“Maria continues to strengthen and is expected to be at major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards,” the hurricane center said.
There are currently three storms in the Atlantic Ocean; however, Maria poses the highest risk and it has made authorities release a warning for Martinique, Guadalupe, Dominica, St. Kittis, Nevis and Monsterrat. Also, there is a tropical storm warning active in Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Lucia and St. Eustatius. Such warnings are usually issues 36 hours before the anticipated occurrence of tropical storm force winds.
“Maria is likely to affect the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid week as a dangerous major hurricane,” the NHC said.
The torrential rainfall that is expected to occur could cause deadly flash flooding and mudslides. Maria could bring even more devastation as states are already suffering after Irma.