Photos from Puerto Rico reveal the devastating power of Hurricane Maria

This year has been a historic one for hurricanes, with major storm after major storm churning through the Atlantic. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria all reached “major hurricane” (Category 3 or above) status as they spun through those warm waters. 

And as these storms have lashed not only the U.S. mainland but many of the smaller islands that populate the Caribbean and the Atlantic, we’ve been reminded of what a devastating and destructive force nature can be. 

SEE ALSO: Reports: Hurricane Maria leaves Puerto Rico entirely without power

Puerto Rico is no different. The small island of 3.4 million people was still cleaning up from being side-swiped by Irma when Maria slammed into it on Tuesday, engulfing nearly the entire island with hurricane-force winds.

Now the clean up begins anew and we’re reminded once more of the raw power of these storms, of he widespread damage they can cause. 

An image acquired by the GOES-13 satellite at 1:15 pm local time  of Hurricanes Maria in the Caribbean (bottom) and Jose (L, top) in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Image: NASA Earth Observatory HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Hurricane Maria Landfalls in Puerto Rico San Juan September 20, 2017.

Image: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A picture shows rocks swept by strong waves onto a road in Le Carbet, on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, after it was hit by Hurricane Maria, on September 19, 2017.

Image: LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images

A parking lot is flooded near Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 20, 2017, during Hurricane Maria.

Image: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico leaving behind a path of destruction across the national territory. San Juan September 20, 2017.

Image: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A stranded pleasure boat is pictured in Goyave on September 19, 2017 in the French territory of Guadeloupe, after the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Image: CEDRICK ISHAM CALVADOS/AFP/Getty Images

A woman who voluntarily left her house to take refuge is seen at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on September 19, 2017, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria.

Image: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images

A road is flooded in Saint-Pierre, on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, after it was hit by Hurricane Maria, on September 19, 2017.

Image: LIONEL CHAMOISEAU/AFP/Getty Images

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