Prayers for Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria slams into the island. Maria made landfall in the area around Yabucoa with 155 MPH winds. Maris is the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1928, when the San Felipe Segundo hurricane slammed the island and killed about 300 people, the National Weather Service said.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) – Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory in nearly 90 years, turning streets into debris-laden rivers, damaging buildings and cutting power, after killing at least nine people in the Caribbean.
Maria, the second major hurricane to roar through the Caribbean this month, was carrying winds of up to 155 miles per hour (250 kph), high storm surges and drenching rains when it made landfall near Yabucoa, on the southeast of the island of 3.4 million people.
Rivers burst their banks and the winds downed trees and damaged homes and buildings, including several hospitals, according to local media. News pictures showed whole blocks flooded in the Hato Rey neighborhood of the capital, San Juan.
Electricity was out across the island, El Nuevo Dia newspaper said.
Thousands of people were seeking safety in shelters.
Maria lost some of its power as it moved over land, but its top winds were still 140 mph (220 kph) as it headed off the island, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Shortly before 11 a.m. ET, the eye of the storm was about 15 miles (40 km) west of San Juan, the center said. (read more)