Evacuation orders issued for Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria closes in

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PHOTO VIA NOAA
  • Photo via NOAA
Just two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico and killed at least 3, now evacuation orders have been issued for parts of the island as Hurricane Maria nears.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Maria is now a Category 3 hurricane with over 120 mph sustained winds and is expected to intensify to a Category 4 before making landfall with Puerto Rico late Wednesday morning.  

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, declared a state of emergency and has begun to issue evacuation orders. "We have an extremely weak infrastructure that has already been hit by one storm," he told reporters. "This is going to be a catastrophic event."

As of this afternoon, 450 shelters will be opened on the island.

While Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands are expected to take the hardest blows, the eye is expected to move through the Leeward Islands this evening.

As of now, the storm is still roughly 1,500 miles off of Florida's coast and it's too early to determine whether or not the storm poses any threat.

A hurricane warning is now in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, Martinique, St. Lucia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands.

Maria is now the seventh hurricane of the 2017 season. 
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