Tropical Storm Pilar Heads For Devastated Mexico In Latest Shock Weather Warning

MEXICO will reel from further disaster after a tropical storm threatens to batter the Southwestern coast, just days after a two earthquakes struck the country.

Heavy rain accumulated by Tropical Storm Pilar of three to seven inches, with potential maximum amounts of 15 inches over western parts of Michoacan, Colima, Jalischo, Nayarit, and Sinaloa, will hit through Monday night, The National Hurricane Center said.

The rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, it warned.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for portions of the southwestern coast of Mexico from Manzanillo northward to El Roblito – and the Isles maria – with conditions will build up within the next 12 to 36 hours, the agency confirmed.

Pilar had maximum sustained winds of 40mph and the winds could strengthen as it nears landfall.

The revelations come after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that struck Mexico City on Thursday.

The killer quake destroyed more than 50 buildings in the sprawling Mexican capital, leaving thousands homeless and nearly 300 people dead nationwide.

According to the National Seismological Centre in Mexico there were three tremors, measuring on the Richter Scale 6.1 at 7:52am, 5.2 at 8:24am and 5 at 8:25am.

Residents of Mexico City ran into the streets and rescuers stopped picking up the rubble left by the big tremor earlier this week.

Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico Reels As Storm Turns Toward US East Coast

Millions of Puerto Rico residents continue to reel from Hurricane Maria as the National Weather Service says the storm could bring “direct impacts” to the US East Coast in the coming days.

At least 10 people on the island have been confirmed killed by the storm, according to Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s office.

Much of the US commonwealth is without power and many residents are without running water. Officials have evacuated towns near the Guajataca River on the northwest part of the island, due to fears a dam could collapse.

The National Hurricane Center warns the storm is marching toward the US East Coast.

“It becoming increasingly likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast next week,” the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory on Saturday. “Interests in the Bahamas and along the Carolina and Mid-Atlantic coasts should monitor the progress of Maria.”

Forecasters expect “dangerous surf and rip currents” along southeastern US beaches over the next several days.

“Swells from Maria are increasing along the coast of the southeastern United States and are expected to reach the mid-Atlantic coast tonight and on Sunday . … These swells will likely cause dangerous surf and rip currents at the beach through much of next week,” the hurricane center said.

The Category 3 storm is carrying maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and is 245 miles east of Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. It is moving at 8 miles (13 kilometers) per hour.

“Maria will move away from the Bahamas into the open waters of the western Atlantic today,” the center said.

UPDATE :How Tropical Storm Jose Will Play a Role in Steering Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria will begin to turn northward during the next few days, partially due to the influence of Tropical Storm Jose on the large-scale weather pattern in the western Atlantic.

The forecast for a more north than northwest motion into this weekend is due to a weakness in the steering flow over the western Atlantic that a stalled Jose well off the East Coast has a hand in creating.

Jose will temporarily block an area of high pressure over the eastern U.S. from moving farther east. If that high had been able to build east faster, it would have sent Maria on a more west-northwest path toward the U.S.

Instead, Maria will gain latitude in between that eastern U.S. high-pressure system and another area of high pressure located to Maria’s east in the Atlantic Ocean.

As a result, Maria’s circulation center should remain well east of the Southeast U.S. coast during the next five days as it moves northward.

High surf and dangerous rip currents generated by Maria will begin arriving on the Southeast coast this weekend.

Jose’s low-pressure center will weaken by late this weekend or early next week, which will allow an area of high pressure to rebuild to the north and east of Maria. At the same time, a southward dip in the jet stream over the Lower 48 will slowly approach from the west.

Maria will likely take the alleyway in between those two large-scale weather systems. Where that so-called alleyway sets up will determine how close the center of Maria will be in relation to the East Coast as it accelerates north and then northeast next week.

At the moment, the latest forecast guidance suggests the center of Maria will stay off the East Coast of the U.S., but it’s too early to be 100 percent certain.

Puerto Rico Cleans Up As Turks And Caicos Brace For Hurricane Maria

San Juan, Puerto Rico – The large eye of Hurricane Maria lumbered toward the popular vacation islands of Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas on Thursday, leaving Puerto Rico and its Caribbean neighbors battered, drenched and largely without power.

The core of Maria, a major hurricane, is forecast to pass just east of the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas early Friday.

The Category 3 storm has sustained winds of 125 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said.

In just 24 hours, Maria dumped almost 40 inches of rain on parts of Puerto Rico, where millions of residents won’t have power for months. Most of the island saw more than a foot of precipitation as Maria turned streets into raging rivers.

The storm brought down trees and poured up to 6 inches of rain on the Dominican Republic as the eyewall passed to the east.

Many Puerto Ricans spent Thursday cleaning up. A man in the La Perla area of San Juan told CNN he still had his faith. “It’s incredible … but I believe in God, and we can do anything with the help of God,” Roberto Caballero said.

CNN teams in San Juan saw that some shops were open. All had long lines.

Maria has brought misery to many Caribbean Islands and death to Dominica, where at least 15 people were killed when the storm passed earlier this week, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Here’s the latest on Maria’s destruction, and what’s next.

Dominican Republic gets thrashed

Although Maria is drifting away from the Dominican Republic, parts of the country are still seeing hurricane conditions, the National Hurricane Center said.

“A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet” in parts of the Dominican Republic — where rivers were still swollen from Hurricane Irma, forecasters said. Haiti, on the western part of the island, could see a storm surge of up to 3 feet.

Maria will likely strengthen as it moves across warm water, endangering low-lying islands with enormous storm surges. And the Turks and Caicos could see as much as 20 inches of rainfall, the hurricane center said.

Maria could affect the US East Coast by early next week with high surf, dangerous rip currents and windy conditions. Depending on its path, the system could also bring rain from the mid-Atlantic to Massachusetts, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Puerto Rico: Power system ‘basically … destroyed’

Puerto Ricans might not get power back for four to six months, said Ricardo Ramos, the CEO of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

“The system has been basically destroyed,” Ramos told CNN. He said hospitals and water systems will get priority power restoration.

The island’s largest airport, the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, will be open to commercial traffic Friday, according to Aerostar Puerto Rico, which manages the airport near San Juan.

Emergency generators will power the limited operations, and there will be no air conditioning, the operator said.

President Donald Trump told reporters that he will visit Puerto Rico, a US commonwealth, but did not detail when.

“Puerto Rico was absolutely obliterated,” Trump said. “We’ll work with the governor and the people of Puerto Rico.”

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Maria is the “most devastating storm to hit the island this century, if not in modern history.”

Puerto Rico has been through a long recession and is deeply in debt. Before the storm hit, the state-owned power grid was “a little bit old, mishandled and weak,” the governor said.

Retired Army veteran Manuel Torres called Maria’s devastation the worst he’d ever seen. His mother’s house in La Perla, an oceanfront community in old San Juan, was destroyed.

Emerging after the storm had passed, Torres found the three-story home reduced to two stories.

Angela Magaña, a UFC fighter who lives in the area, said neighbors were helping each other.

“We need cleanup, water, food, and generators,” she told CNN. “There are a lot of old people here who are going without necessities. We need to rebuild and restructure, and we need prayers. Any kind of help we can get because it’s a mess right now.”

Dozens of families were rescued from flooding Thursday in Levittown, near the capital city of San Juan, a spokeswoman for the Puerto Rican governor tweeted. The Puerto Rican National Guard was still searching for others in need of rescue, she said.

Cassidy Spooner, a tourist from Jacksonville, Florida, came upon animals as she was checking out the damage in Luquillo on Thursday.

“The dog was looking for food. I saw her find raw bacon in the street and eat it,” she said. Spooner told CNN she saw kittens and cats near a house nearby that appeared to have cat food, but the felines looked skinny and scared.

Neighbors were trying to take care of the animals, she said.

Army Reserve Brig. Gen Dustin Shultz told “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon” there are 4,500 reserve soldiers on Puerto Rico to assist the National Guard.

Dominica: ‘The need is great’

Prime Minister Skerrit said Dominica was almost completely devastated.

“First of all, every village in Dominica, every street in Dominica … is affected by the hurricane,” he told ABS TV/Radio, based in Antigua and Barbuda. “We have no running water, no electricity, no power, we have very limited communication services.” Skerrit’s own home was demolished in the storm.

There is desperate need for food, water and medical supplies on the island of 73,000 residents, officials said.

“The need is great,” said Philmore Mullin, head of Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services. “We know of casualties, but not in detail. We’ve heard of many missing, but we just don’t know much at the moment.”

Skerrit is “homeless” and “bunking up in an area called St. Aroment,” government spokesman Charles Jong said.

A flight Wednesday over Dominica showed thousands of trees had been snapped and were strewn across the landscape, leaving the island stripped of vegetation.

US Virgin Islands: 24-hour curfew in place

Maria also annihilated homes on the US Virgin Islands. On Thursday, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp announced a 24-hour curfew, effective immediately, on the four main US Virgin Islands — St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island.

“Your presence on the roads during the curfew hours will only hamper clean-up efforts and could delay the distribution of critically needed supplies,” Mapp said.

One of the hardest hit islands was St. Croix. Maria didn’t just obliterate homes, it knocked out vital communication lines, resident Murillo Melo said.

“Here on the island and on the mainland, people are trying to get in contact with friends and relatives,” he said. “People are desperate to get some news from their friends and relatives.”

Trump declared the US Virgin Islands a major disaster area and ordered federal aid to supplement recovery efforts.

José Brings Dangerous Rip Currents To East Coast

José retained its hurricane status Tuesday as it stirred up dangerous surf and rip currents off the East Coast.

The storm’s center was about 365 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, moving north at 9 mph with sustained winds of 75 mph.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for the coast of Long Island, New York, from Fire Island Inlet to Port Jefferson, and also from New Haven to Watch Hill in Rhode Island.

New York state officials have deployed members of the National Guard and emergency response units to Long Island to prepare for potentially severe weather caused by the Category 1 storm.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 100 members of the National Guard, 13 members of an urban search-and-rescue team, and 20 high-axle vehicles will set up a command post at a welcome center on the Long Island Expressway in Dix Hills in Suffolk County.

He said the facility will be open to members of the public seeking shelter during severe weather.

Cuomo planned to hold a storm briefing at the welcome center Tuesday morning.

The surf remains rough along the Jersey Shore and there’s a chance for some coastal flooding, but the strong winds associated with the storm are well off the coast.

A high-surf advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday and a coastal flood warning is posted until 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Wave heights off the coast could build to 15 feet, while breaking waves along the coast are expected to reach 8 to 10 feet.

Forecasters expect José to weaken to a tropical storm by Wednesday, when it will pass by New Jersey before moving south of Massachusetts the next day.

Hurricane Maria Ravages Puerto Rico, Knocks Out All Power

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and triggered heavy flooding Wednesday in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis.

APTOPIX Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria

Leaving at least nine people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria blew ashore in the morning in the southeast coastal town of Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 mph (250 kph).

It was expected to punish the island of 3.4 million people with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours.

“Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed,” warned Abner Gomez, Puerto Rico’s emergency management director. “The information we have received is not encouraging. It’s a system that has destroyed everything in its path.”

It was the second time in two weeks that Puerto Rico felt the wrath of a hurricane.

There were no immediate reports of any deaths or serious injuries on the island.

As people waited it out in shelters or took cover inside stairwells, bathrooms and closets, Maria brought down cell towers and power lines, snapped trees, tore off roofs and unloaded at least 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain.

Widespread flooding was reported, with dozens of cars half-submerged in some neighborhoods and many streets turned into rivers. People calling local radio stations reported that doors were being torn off their hinges and a water tank flew away.

Felix Delgado, mayor of the northern coastal city of Catano, told The Associated Press that 80 percent of the 454 homes in a neighborhood known as Juana Matos were destroyed. The fishing community on San Juan Bay was hit with a storm surge of more than 4 feet, he said.

“Months and months and months and months are going to pass before we can recover from this,” he said.

As of 5 p.m. EDT, Maria had weakened into a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 110 mph (175 kph). It was centered just off the northwestern corner of Puerto Rico, moving at 12 mph (19 kph).

It was expected to pass off the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic late Wednesday and Thursday.

Even before the storm, Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was crumbling and the island was in dire condition financially.

Puerto Rico is struggling to restructure a portion of its $73 billion debt, and the government has warned it is running out of money as it fights back against furloughs and other austerity measures imposed by a federal board overseeing the island’s finances.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello urged people to have faith: “We are stronger than any hurricane. Together, we will rebuild.”

He asked President Donald Trump to declare the island a disaster zone, a step that would open the way to federal aid.

Many people feared extended power outages would further sink businesses struggling amid a recession that has lasted more than a decade.

“This is going to be a disaster,” said Jean Robert Auguste, who owns two French restaurants and sought shelter at a San Juan hotel. “We haven’t made any money this month.”

More than 11,000 people – and more than 580 pets – were in shelters, authorities said.

Along the island’s northern coast, an emergency medical station in the town of Arecibo lost its roof, while communication was severed with several emergency management posts. A hospital and a police station reported broken windows, and a tree fell on an ambulance.

As the storm closed in on the Dominican Republic, about 4,000 tourists in the Bavara-Punta Cana area on the eastern tip of the island were moved to hotels in Santo Domingo, the capital.

Maria posed no immediate threat to the U.S. mainland. The long-range forecast showed the storm out in the Atlantic Ocean hundreds of miles off the Georgia-South Carolina coast by Monday morning.

Previously a Category 5 with 175 mph (281 kph) winds, Maria hit Puerto Rico as the third-strongest storm to make landfall in the U.S., based on its central pressure. It was even stronger than Hurricane Irma when Irma roared into the Florida Keys earlier this month.

Irma sideswiped Puerto Rico on Sept. 6, causing no deaths or widespread damage on the island but leaving more than 1 million people without electricity. More than 70,000 still had no power as Maria approached.

The last Category 4 hurricane to blow ashore in Puerto Rico was in 1932, and the strongest ever to hit the island was San Felipe in 1928 with winds of 160 mph (250 kph).

As Maria closed in, Trump offered his support via Twitter: “Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you – will be there to help!”

The storm’s center passed near or over St. Croix overnight Tuesday, prompting U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp to warn people to sleep in their street clothes and shoes just in case. St. Croix was largely spared by Irma.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries on St. Croix, but it was still too dangerous Wednesday to venture out and conduct a thorough check, said Nykole Tyson, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Virgin Islands Emergency Operations Center.

On the island of Dominica, which got slammed late Monday, Hartley Henry, an adviser to the prime minister, reported at least seven deaths and a “tremendous loss of housing and public buildings.” He said the country was “in a daze,” with no electricity and little to no communications.

Dominica’s airport and seaports remained closed, and authorities used helicopters to carry emergency food, water and shelter materials to the island, said Ronald Jackson, head of the Caribbean Disaster and Emergency Management Agency.

Hurricane Maria Makes Landfall in Dominica as Other Islands Brace for Potential Disaster

Hurricane Maria barreled through the islands that curve through the Caribbean on Monday night as it quickly grew into “a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane” and made landfall in Dominica, the National Weather Service said.

With maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, the storm battered the island of 73,000 people. Ham radio operators reported major damage to buildings, according to the hurricane center, and the island’s prime minister said the roof was ripped off his home.

“I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane,” the prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, wrote on Facebook. “House is flooding.” About 10 minutes later, he posted, “I have been rescued.”

Mr. Skerrit told a journalist at the news station Telesur that the island had been devastated.

Early Tuesday, with Maria’s eye having passed over Dominica, the National Hurricane Center downgraded the storm to Category 4. But its winds had diminished only slightly, and the center warned that it could return to Category 5 as it approached the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Residents throughout the Caribbean were preparing for yet another potentially disastrous storm.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Morgane Guyard fled St. Martin, worried about dwindling food supplies and the chaos on her island after the storm ripped through.

On Monday, she was bracing for Hurricane Maria, which was heading straight for the island that she and hundreds of others had escaped to for sanctuary, Guadeloupe.

“This year we are cursed,” Ms. Guyard, 28, said after a morning of last-minute grocery shopping as the hurricane approached. “When will we be able to breathe again? When will all of the hurricanes stop?”

Some islands still reeling from the impact of Hurricane Irma were bracing late Monday for Round 2, closing schools, stores and just about everything else before the storm made landfall.

More than two dozen people were killed by Irma, and on Monday emergency shelters were beginning to fill up on Guadeloupe, Dominica and Montserrat, as well as on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Those who chose to stay home were busy boarding up their houses, trimming trees or gathering stockpiles of food and water.

Karine Fleury, 47, a psychologist in Martinique, which was also expected to be hit by Maria, said she found out about the storm only on Sunday while shopping for groceries. After that, it was a race to prepare herself — both physically and mentally — for the storm’s landing.

“I know it’s going to be impressive during the storm,” she said. “And when we go out for the first time afterward, seeing the fallen trees and the damage, it’s always scary.”

Though Maria is expected to trace a similar path to Hurricane Irma, some of the islands hit hardest by that storm may be spared. Instead, having escaped the wrath of Irma, Guadeloupe and Dominica were expected to bear the initial brunt of Maria.

But the already storm-battered islands could be affected in other ways. In addition to being the main sanctuary for those evacuating St. Martin, Guadeloupe has also become the staging ground for the relief effort. If the storm hits hard, it could delay or upend the desperately needed aid going to its neighbor.

Though the number of hurricanes passing through the Caribbean feels exceptional this year, experts say it is not unheard-of. Ten years ago, Hurricanes Karl, Igor and Julia were all active at the same time. In 1998, four hurricanes — Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl — passed through the Atlantic at once, according to the hurricane research division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Still, the number of serious storms this year is higher than average.

“None of this is unusual in terms of the number; we are in the peak week of the peak month in what was forecast to be an active season,” said Dennis Feltgen, an agency spokesman. “What is horrific is the succession of Category 4 Harvey, Category 4 and 5 Irma and now” Maria.

A typical season has 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes, with three of those becoming major hurricanes. So far this season, which is more than halfway through, there have been 13 named storms, including seven hurricanes, four which have been major.

The constant threat of storms has created a state of agitation among some residents — and some resistance to making the necessary preparations.

“We’re tired of this,” lamented Stan Musquer, 44, an artist in Guadeloupe who says he has been evacuated three times in his life, forced to move all of his belongings ahead of storms that did not strike as badly as anticipated. “We’re tired of this. It’s stressful.”

Local authorities across the region have implored residents to take the warnings seriously. Having suffered season after season of hurricanes, they are fearful residents will shrug off yet another storm. Mr. Skerrit, Dominica’s prime minister, addressed the tiny nation Monday morning, asking residents to remain calm but be prepared.

“I want to say to Dominicans that this is not a time for heroism,” he said. “This much water in Dominica is dangerous given our terrain, and therefore persons should not wait for something to happen in order to take action.”

Preparation for many Caribbean islanders has, by now, become second nature.

“I stocked up as much as possible with fresh water and dried foods,” said Michele Henderson, a musician on Dominica. “I secured my dogs, rabbits and chickens. We boarded up the windows and we are hunkered down in our basement apartment.”

Others said that while they were not worried, they were still taking the proper precautions.

“I’ve seen lots of hurricanes and know what to expect,” said Melissa Roberts, 36, on Dominica. “You stay home, buckle down and wait for it to clear.”

Impending storms are often likened to past storms, especially in the minds of survivors. For those on St. Martin, Hurricane Luis in 1995 was the “big one” until Irma blasted apart their island. On the island of Montserrat, meanwhile, Hurricane Hugo looms large.

“After Hugo, my house was full of glass and coconuts,” said Susan Edgecombe, who runs Tradewinds Real Estate on the island and recalled the attitude that existed before that hurricane in 1989. “Everyone said: ‘There’s not been a hurricane in over 60 years. Don’t stress.’”

“Yeah right,” she snapped. “We didn’t get power for over three months, so now I am the prep queen.”

On the island of Antigua, which Hurricane Irma skirted while destroying nearby Barbuda, Dr. Jillia Bird, an optometrist, said she had once again gone through her familiar pre-hurricane motions, closing storm shutters, moving items off the floor in case of flooding, covering beds with shower curtains and towels to prevent soaking, packing up valuables and moving from her wooden house to her mother’s storm-tested 60-year-old concrete house.

Dr. Bird also chilled her merlot – “in case of power loss,” she said – and found time for an act of generosity toward friends of hers in the British Virgin Islands, which was slammed by Hurricane Irma: She bought credit for their cellphones, “as a kindness gesture as they face another difficult night,” she said.

In St. Kitts and Nevis, the storm has particularly cruel timing, landing on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the island’s independence. The good news for residents there, however, was that most of them had already prepared for Irma, and so had less to do to prepare for Maria.

“Well, following the recent passage of Hurricane Irma, I still have most things in place, like candles, flashlight with batteries and important items in plastic bags,” said Precious Mills, a resident. “I would say that I have basic measures in place to weather the storm.”

While the island escaped largely unscathed from Irma, some homes sustained damage. For John Webster, who lives in the affected area of Newton Ground, that means the patchwork fixes he made to his roof after Irma will have to do for now.

“I had planned to properly fix it, but I am going to wait until this storm has passed,” he said.