All of Puerto Rico was without power by Wednesday afternoon, officials said, just hours after Hurricane Maria made landfall on the island as a Category 4 storm.
Puerto Rico Office of Emergency Management Agency confirmed that 100 percent of the U.S. territory has lost power, noting that anyone with electricity is using a generator.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Maria has caused severe damage to infrastructure. A Category 4 storm has not hit the island since 1932.
Rossello told local newspaper El Nuevo Dia, which streamed the telephone interview live on Facebook, windows had shattered, rivers were overflowing and trees had fallen.
Maria was moving at 12 mph and the storm’s eye was located about 25 miles west of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, as of 11 a.m., according to the National Hurricane Center.
A weather station near Arecibo, some 43 miles from San Juan, reported a sustained wind of 71 mph and a wind gust of 91 mph on Wednesday morning.
“This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation,” the National Hurricane Center warned.
Storm surge was predicted to be 6 to 9 feet in coastal Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Rainfall totals for Puerto Rico were projected at 12 to 18 inches, with as much as 25 inches in isolated areas.
Felix Delgado Montalvo, the mayor of Catano, some 7 miles southwest of San Juan, told ABC News on Wednesday there are hundreds of people in shelters and over 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the communities of Juana Matos, La Puntilla and Puente Blanco. Most of the homes are flooded and are missing roofs or have collapsed walls, he said.
About 80 percent of residences in the Juana Matos community were destroyed from storm surge and flooding. Homes there are filled with at least 3 to 4 feet of water, according to Montalvo.
Puerto Rico will experience hurricane-force wind gusts through Wednesday afternoon, though the wind will weaken as the day goes on.
Over the next few hours, Maria is forecast to move off Puerto Rico’s northern shores and into open Atlantic waters, allowing the storm to strengthen slightly overnight, according to ABC News…