Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hurricane Maria Now Devastating the Caribbean

Warnings That Last Weeks Events are to be Repeated
Shipping News Feature
CARIBBEAN – Hurricane season continues to cause disruption throughout the region. Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma last week now Hurricane Maria is sweeping over much of the same area that was previously devastated. With consistent winds of 155mph, Maria is only marginally less powerful than Irma, and wind gusts of over 200mph are being reported on the outer edge of the storm.

At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the centre of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 17.9 North, longitude 65.6 West. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A west-northwest to northwest motion is expected to continue through today, followed by a northwestward motion on Thursday.

At 0600 AST the Hurricane was about to make landfall on Puerto Rico. It has already passed over the US Virgin Islands and Dominica, and Hurricane warnings are in place for the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques, the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata and the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas.

Advice to anyone in the path of weather system is to seek shelter and wait for it to pass. Vessels should seek to stay well clear of the hazard zone. Storm surges are also likely in coastal regions. The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) is warning people not to venture out when the eye passes over as the winds will return without warning as the eye passes.