Hurricane Maria

International: Puerto Rico increases Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975

Officials in Puerto Rico now say 2,975 people died following Hurricane Maria - a devastating storm that struck the US island territory in September 2017.

The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64.

Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings in a long-awaited independent investigation.

The mayor of the capital, San Juan, accused the US government of deliberately downplaying the impact of the storm.

OPM: Assistance heading to Dominica tonight

The Office of the Prime Minister says that during the course of today coordination has been taking place between the various agencies tasked to provide assistance to Dominica.

These agencies include the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministries of National Security, Foreign and Caricom Affairs, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, the National Helicopters Services Limited (NHSL), the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), Caribbean Airlines and the  Immigration Department.

T&T Defence Force vessel, helicopter being sent to Dominica

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is mobilizing to send assistance to the Commonwealth of Dominica, a statement by the Office of the Prime Minister said.

The statement said that coordination is currently taking place under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs.

It is envisaged that as soon as it is safe, a National Helicopter Services Limited helicopter will be sent to Dominica with Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force personnel.

PM: Hurricane Maria's devastation "mind-boggling"

Hurricane Maria roared over the small nation of Dominica late Monday as a monster Category 5 storm, causing “mind boggling” devastation, according to the country’s prime minister.

Maria, the second major storm of the month, slammed into Dominica with potentially catastrophic winds of nearly 260 km/h, ripping roofs off homes on the island of about 73,000 people.

“Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace,” Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote in an emotional Facebook statement.

Hurricane Maria upgrades to dangerous Category 4

Hurricane Maria has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale and is expected to strengthen further, the US National Hurricane Centre says.

Hurricane Maria is now about 55 kilometres northeast of Martinique, with maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometres per hour, the Miami-based weather forecaster said on Monday.

Hurricane Maria at Category 3 but expected to strengthen further

In what seems to be an endless procession of major hurricanes this summer, Hurricane Maria strengthened overnight to a Category 3 storm and is expected to strengthen further as it makes its way straight toward Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Maria’s winds are howling at a maximum speed of 120 mph, with even higher gusts.

It is expected to be a Category 4 hurricane by the time it makes landfall at Puerto Rico Wednesday morning.

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