Washington, Sept 20: Hurricane Maria made landfall on Wednesday in southeast Puerto Rico, ripping trees out of the ground and lashing two-thirds of the island with maximum sustained winds of 250 kmph, the US tiol Hurricane Center said.
The hurricane made landfall near the city of Yabucoa in the east of the US territory. The storm was so fierce that it broke two tiol Weather Service radars on the island. It became the first hurricane of Category 4 strength or higher in nearly 80 years to hit the US territory, home to 3.3 million people, CNN reported. In a telephone interview with the “Today Show” after Maria made landfall, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello said the hurricane would have a devastating impact on the Caribbean island. “Conditions have deteriorated rapidly. We have severe and extreme winds and a lot of rain,” Rosello said. Hurricane Maria was expected to cause widespread power outages across Puerto Rico. Shortly after landfall, the storm wiped out power in the east coast city of Fajardo. As residents hunkered down in homes and shelters ahead of the direct impact, others in the most vulnerable, low-lying, flood-prone areas were evacuated. The Puerto Rico Convention Centre in San Juan - which was still housing Hurricane Irma evacuees from other Caribbean islands - prepared to accept thousands more residents. (IANS)