DW – September 20, 2017
Hurricane Maria blasted through Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the strongest hurricane to hit the US territory in nearly 90 years, wreaking havoc across the island as it advanced.
Packing winds of 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour), the Category 4 storm downed communication towers, damaged hundreds of homes and burst river banks as it released over 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain, according to local media.
“When we are able to go outside, we are going to find our island destroyed,” Abner Gomez, the director of the island’s emergency management agency, was quoted as saying by El Nuevo Dia, a local newspaper. “It’s a system that has destroyed everything in its path.”
The paper also reported that electricity was out across the island of 3.4 million people. More than 4,400 people were in shelters by late Tuesday, the territory’s Governor Ricardo Rossello said.