DEVELOPING: Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico early Wednesday as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm after slamming smaller Caribbean islands along the way.
Maria roared onto the island with 155 mph winds and made landfall near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico on the island’s southeast coast, striking the area with life-threatening winds for 12 to 24 hours, forecasters said.
Maria had previously been a Category 5 storm with 175 mph winds.
“Maria will bring a potentially catastrophic combination of storm-surge flooding, destructive winds and flooding rain to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said Wednesday.
The number of power outages spiked on Puerto Rico as Maria approached, with the storm centered early Wednesday about 50 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and moving northwest at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
“This is going to be an extremely violent phenomenon,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history.”