Visit Atlantic City

Published on Monday, September 18, 2017

Caribbean braces for another major hurricane



Warnings have been issued in several Caribbean islands and others are on 'hurricane watch' as tropical storm Maria heads towards the Leeward Islands.


The US National Hurricane Center has warned Maria, currently a category one hurricane, will rapidly strengthen over the next 48 hours and will hit Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Martinique late today local time.


Other islands are now on hurricane watch, including the US and British Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Barts, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla.


Maria is following the same path as Hurricane Irma, which devastated many islands earlier this month, including Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, killing at least 37 people, before hitting the US, where 11 people died.


In preparation for Maria, United Airlines has said it will waive change fees on flights between now and September 30. In like-for-like ticket changes, any fare difference will also be waived.


The Foreign Office is currently advising against all travel to the BVI and has warned travellers to Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and other islands: "Please be aware that our ability to provide assistance to you will be extremely limited."


A hotline for people concerned about family and friends has been set up: 020 7008 0000.


The FCO's updated advice on the BVI says: "Tropical storm Maria is expected to develop into a hurricane and make landfall on Tuesday 19 or 20 September.


"Following the extensive damage caused by hurricane Irma, there is a high risk of further severe damage; coastal flooding is also highly likely; if you are in the British Virgin Islands, you should identify shelter immediately and be ready to take cover when the hurricane approaches.


"If you are currently outside BVI, you should not return to the territory at this time; the local authorities have introduced a curfew from 6pm to 9am until further notice; you should continue to follow the advice of the local authorities."

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