Hurricane Maria Leaves the Caribbean in Shambles

The third in a string of cataclysmic hurricanes, Maria hit the Caribbean just two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated the region.
Author:
Publish date:
Residents survey the damage from Hurricane Maria in Roseau, Dominica, on September 20th, 2017.

Residents survey the damage from Hurricane Maria in Roseau, Dominica, on September 20th, 2017.

Heavy rains continue to flood Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Thursday, following the passage of Hurricane Maria. Debris litters the streets across the Caribbean—fallen trees, downed power lines, and remnants of buildings.

The third in a string of cataclysmic hurricanes, Maria hit the islands just two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated the region. The National Hurricane Center predicts that Maria could gain strength as it heads toward the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday.

Maria tore through Puerto Rico on Wednesday, destroying homes, dousing streets, and leaving the entire island without power. The hurricane hit the island as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, then regained strength as it surged toward the Dominican Republic. The death toll has risen to at least 15 across the region.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló called Maria the "most devastating storm to hit the island this century, if not in modern history."

The island might not get power back for four to six months, Ricardo Ramos, chief executive officer of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, told CNN.

On Tuesday, the storm left "mind-boggling" damage in the island nation of Dominica. "We will need help, my friends we will need help of all kinds," Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote on Facebook, before losing his own roof to the storm.

At least additional help appears to be on the way. President Donald Trump approved disaster declarations for Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands late Wednesday night, making federal funds available to those affected. Below, find photos of the aftermath.

section-break
Damaged homes in the La Perla neighborhood the day after Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 21st, 2017, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Damaged homes in the La Perla neighborhood the day after Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 21st, 2017, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Men walk between damaged trees after the passage of Hurricane Maria in San Juan on September 20th, 2017.

Men walk between damaged trees after the passage of Hurricane Maria in San Juan on September 20th, 2017.

A sailboat lies over a pier as Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico in Fajardo on September 20th, 2017.

A sailboat lies over a pier as Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico in Fajardo on September 20th, 2017.

Men ride motorcycles along the flooded streets of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on September 20th, 2017.

Men ride motorcycles along the flooded streets of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on September 20th, 2017.

Debris clutters Plaza de Colon in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 21st, 2017.

Debris clutters Plaza de Colon in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 21st, 2017.

San Juan goes dark during a blackout after Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 20th, 2017.

San Juan goes dark during a blackout after Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 20th, 2017.

Homeowners clear rubble in the La Perla neighborhood of San Juan on September 21st, 2017.

Homeowners clear rubble in the La Perla neighborhood of San Juan on September 21st, 2017.

Related