22nd September, 2017
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) – Hurricane Maria lashed the Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday after destroying homes, causing widespread flooding, crippling economies and killing at least 30 people on Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.
Maria was the second major hurricane to hit the Caribbean this month and the strongest storm to hit the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years. It completely knocked out the island’s power and several rivers hit record flood levels.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello told CNN he had reports of at least 13 people being killed. El Nuevo Día newspaper reported at least 15 people were killed.
“We have reports of complete devastation,” Rossello said, adding that the storm’s dangers were not over, as “mudslides and surges, as well as flooding continues.”
Fourteen deaths were reported on the island nation of Dominica, which has a population of about 71,000. Two people were killed in the French territory of Guadeloupe and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Communications outages throughout the region were making it difficult for officials to get a clear picture of damage.
Rossello imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew through Saturday for the island’s 3.4 million people. He said about 700 people had been rescued from floodwaters and communication was difficult with the southeastern part of the island.
Among those killed in Puerto Rico were eight people who drowned in Toa Baja, about 20 miles (32 km) west of San Juan, Mayor Bernardo Márquez told the newspaper.
Photo: Hurricane Maria Devastation in Dominica