Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico declares state of emergency

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosello declared state of emergency Wednesday due to the Hurricane Maria, which is expected to be “more devastating than Irma”.

In the morning, Maria was a category-2 hurricane and in a few hours it became a category-3 storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), it could reach Puerto Rico in the early hours of Wednesday.

The most recent NHC report envisages a swift strengthening in the coming 48 hours and ‘Maria is expected to become a dangerous hurricane before it moves across the Leeward Islands’.

In a press conference, Governor Rosello said that the whole country is going to be threatened by the hurricane and ordered to begin the evacuation in the most jeopardized coastal areas.

Rosello said that Maria will knock out power in the same way Irma did, because Puerto Rico has a very weak electricity infrastructure.

For his part, Ricardo Ramos, CEO of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), said that he is now focused on the preparation and reduction of damages, while stating that fuel tanks for the network power generators have been filled.

Rosello also said that the hurricane Maria could bring half-a-meter high floods and could be more damaging than others that hit the country as Hugo in 1989 or George in 1998.

Other islands like Guadalupe, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Montserrat are now under hurricane alert and Martinique is in state of emergency for the hurricane.