The Turks and Caicos Islands, a British overseas territory of more than 52,000 people, felt Hurricane Maria’s wrath Friday as the storm hurtled through the Caribbean while still causing trouble on the battered US territory of Puerto Rico after its landfall two days earlier.
Maria is still producing winds of 125 mph (more than 200 kilometers per hour).
Hurricane Maria raked across Puerto Rico, an island of more than 3 million people, as the most powerful storm to strike the island in more than 80 years, ripping roofs off buildings, filling homes with water and knocking out power to the entire population. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said it could be months before the electricity returns.
A dangerous storm surge and large waves are expected to raise water levels by as much as 9 to 12 feet above normal tide in the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas. In Turks and Caicos, 8 to 20 inches of rainfall is predicted, and in Puerto Rico, an additional 3 to 6 inches is likely, with isolated maximum storm totals at 40 inches.
Heavy rains are also expected in parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Bahamas.
The giant storm’s death toll is beginning to mount. In Puerto Rico, Maria left at least 13 dead, based on preliminary assessments, the island’s governor told CNN’s “New Day.” At least 15 people are confirmed dead on Dominica, and dozens more remain missing.