Strengthening Hurricane Maria could be catastrophic

Megastorm sweeping across Caribbean Sea strengthens to Category 5, with winds of 260kph

Image Credit: Reuters

Boats remain anchored in a wharf as Hurricane Maria approaches in Guadeloupe island, France, September 18, 2017.

Hurricane Maria strengthened into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane at the top of the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale as it swept across the Caribbean on Monday night, the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

Hurricane Maria was about 25 kilometres east-southeast of Dominica, with maximum sustained winds of 260kph, the NHC said in its latest advisory.

“Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two,” the Miami-based weather forecaster said.