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Maria hits Puerto Rico with full strength

Satellite image of a hurricane

Hurricane Maria sustained its category five status overnight despite forecasters saying it might decrease in strength. The storm has now hit Puerto Rico and is expected to bring widespread flooding, with many flights throughout today (September 20) now cancelled.

The US’s National Hurricane Centre warns that the storm will bring “life-threatening wind, storm surge and rainfall impacts” to Puerto Rico. Experts have said the wind strength is “much stronger” than initially forecast.

As the storm moves north, hurricane warnings are in effect for the Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic, where dangerous winds are expected to continue. A hurricane watch is in effect for the south-eastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, where Maria is forecast to hit on Thursday (September 21).

Travellers are advised to continue to check the status of their flight through the rest of the week, and visitors already in the area should follow the advice of local authorities to avoid dangerous flooding.

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