Hurricane Maria Storming Towards Caribbean Islands

A gathering storm known as Maria is said to become a dangerous hurricane as it gets closer to the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.

Presently a category one hurricane, it is expected to strengthen and follow the same path as hurricane Irma, the hurricane which tore through the region earlier this month.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for a number of Caribbean Islands including Montserrat, Martinique, St Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe and Dominica.

Other Islands such as Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Barts, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla are currently under hurricane watch.

The most southerly point of the Leeward Islands  where Maria will first strike include Antigua and Barbuda. The latter island was evacuated after being devastated by Irma and now preparations is under way to protect life and property .

There is an anticipation of dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves above normal tide levels and there are tropical storm watches been issued for parts of the north-eastern US.

It also forecasts a maximum potential rainfall of 20in (51cm) in some areas of the central and southern Leeward Islands – including Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands – through to Wednesday night.

There’s little respite for some of these islands as they are still recovering from the effect of hurricane Irma. The category five hurricane left at least 37 people dead and caused billions of dollars’ worth of damage.

Irma also left more than two-thirds of homes on the Dutch side of the island of St Martin uninhabitable, with no electricity, gas or drinking water.