Hurricane Maria path update LIVE: Maria lashes Dominican Republic – Puerto Rico DESTROYED

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Hurricane Maria path update LIVE: Maria lashes Dominican Republic – Puerto Rico DESTROYED
HURRICANE Maria has regained major hurricane strength as it closes in on the Dominican Republic, hours after it thrashed Puerto Rico. Here are live updates on the hurricane's path, track and the latest weather models. Hurricane Maria will tear past the Dominican Republic later this morning but is not forecast to make landfall.The storm is back at category 3 strength with maximum sustained winds of 115mph.Puerto Rico is “totally devastated” and without power after Maria made a direct hit yesterday as a category 4 storm.Dominica’s death toll has hit 24, according to the latest reports.Bringing you the latest Hurricane Maria path updates, storm track, weather models, forecasts, tracking maps and videos as the storm moves through the Caribbean.Here are live updates from the the NOAA, National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Weather Service (NWS) as well as the most advanced weather models from around the world. All times EDT. 4.30am: First photos of Maria damage in Puerto RicoThe first photos have emerged from Puerto Rico, showing the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.Buildings are destroyed and roads are flooded in San Juan, with one image showing a road almost completely blocked by fallen trees.Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello described Maria as "the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century”. His spokesman Carlos Mercader, added: "This is total devastation. Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. This is something of historic proportions." The entire island is currently without mains electricity after the storm damaged power lines.Mr Rossello has warned that it could be months before utilities are fully restored.“It depends on the damage to the infrastructure,” he told CNN. “I’m afraid it's probably going to be severe. If it is ... we're looking at months as opposed to weeks or days.”Puerto Rico, a US territory which has been through a long recession and is deeply in debt, has a power grid that is “a little bit old, mishandled and weak”, Mr Rossello told CNN. 4.10am: Dominica death toll rises to 24At least 24 people have died in Dominica as a result of Hurricane Maria, the Caribbean-based WIC News has reported.Fifteen of those are said to be from Pointe Michel, which is currently only accessible by foot. The death toll is expected to rise even further.Dominca was left completely devastated after Maria made landfall on Monday night.Some 90 per cent of the island’s buildings are said to be destroyed, including its main hospital and the home of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.“In summary, the island has been devastated,” said Hartley Henry, an advisor to the Prime Minister.Communications are only just starting to return to the island, starting with the capital Roseau. 4.00am: Hurricane Maria back at category 3 strength as it heads to Dominican RepublicAfter briefly weakening to category 2 intensity, Hurricane Maria has restrengthened and is now a major category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 115mph, according to the latest NOAA update.Strong gusts continue to batter Puerto Rico, although winds and storm surge on the island should continue to gradually subside as the storm’s large eye moves towards the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.Maria is currently located about 55 miles north of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and about 235 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island.Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are already spreading across the Dominican Republic, with hurricane conditions expected to begin in portions of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas tonight. The NOAA said: “On the forecast track, the core of Hurricane Maria will continue to move away from Puerto Rico during the next several hours, and then pass offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic early today. “Maria should then move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas tonight and Friday.“A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic, and 1 to 3 ft elsewhere along the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.“A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 9 to 12 feet above normal tide levels within the hurricane warning area of the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.”. 00FastNews. Please Subscribe!

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