Puerto Rico who has sheltered many of the evacuees who fled Hurricane Irma’s wrath is about to experience hurricane Maria who is currently at a category 5. Forecasters warned that the storm could leave some parts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands uninhabitable for months.
Rosselló has ordered evacuations ahead of deteriorating conditions, telling CNN that extensive preparations had been made to mitigate Maria’s potential impact.
“We’re as ready as we can be,” he told CNN’s Don Lemon.
“This sort of event is a very dangerous event, high winds … and a lot of rainfall. And this coming just about two weeks after Irma skirted off the northeast of Puerto Rico.
“We’ve made preparations… we’ve focused on really the only thing that matters right now, which is making sure people are safe. We have 500 shelters, (we’re) moving people to those shelters and hopefully weathering the storm so we can rebuild Puerto Rico.
Calling its potential impact “catastrophic,”
Rosselló said the island was expected to experience tropical storm force winds for about two and a half days and sustained high level hurricane winds for “the better part of a day.”
He warned that airports and seaports were likely to be shut for days. Around 72,000 people live on the island in the Lesser Antilles.
“My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured,” Skerrit added. “We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.”
“Dominica had very little time to prepare for this monster,” Karins said. “I fear what we will see during the daylight hours from Dominica and Guadeloupe. They had little time to prepare for the strongest storm of their lifetimes.
NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins highlighted that Maria was one of the fastest intensifying hurricanes ever recorded. It blew up from a tropical storm into a major Category 5 hurricane in barely more than a day.