Hurricane Maria leaves Puerto Rico in blackout, downgraded to a Category 2 storm
The storm has left the islands, and is now over the eastern Dominican Republic, the United States Hurricane Center has said.
Hurricane Maria, which made landfall at the United States’ Puerto Rico on Wednesday, has left the entire territory without any electricity, according to BBC. The storm, the third to hit the islands in a month, has caused strong winds and “catastrophic flooding” in the region.
Its Governor Ricardo Rossello announced a curfew from 6 pm to 6 am every day, from Wednesday evening till Saturday. Only emergency personnel, health workers and reporters were exempt.
The United States Hurricane Center said that the storm has now weakened to a Category 2 but may strengthen in the coming days. In its advisory issued at 8 pm Atlantic Standard Time, the center said that the “core of dangerous hurricane Maria is gradually moving away from Puerto Rico”. Conditions were deteriorating over the eastern Dominican Republic, it said.
It was about 90 km away from the Dominican Republic town of Punta Cana with maximum sustainable winds of 175 km per hour, and was moving northwest at 19 km per hour. Rossello also asked United States President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster area, as there was major damage.