The island state of Puerto Rico lost all power as Maria slammed into the United States territory as a category four storm hurricane on Wednesday.
Head of the disaster relief management agency, Abner Gomez, said the hurricane had damaged or destroyed “everything in its path”, and knocked out electrical power to the state’s Electric Power Authority.
Mr Gomez urged all 3.5 million Puerto Ricans to stay indoors as flood waters rush streets and fast winds batter infrastructure.
“Once we’re able to go outside, we’re going to find our island destroyed. The information we received is not encouraging.” Gomez said in a briefing.
Maria has since dropped to category three.
Despite the drop, the storm has caused heavy flooding and the dangerous winds will batter the populace for an estimated 12 to 24 hours.
No deaths or injuries have been reported thus far.
Hurricane Maria follows Irma and Harvey in the area, all within the last weeks, however, Puerto Rico wasn’t hit by the previous two and was used as a hub for relief workers assisting with rescue and clean up after the other storms.
It is the first category four hurricane to strike the island since 1932.
Maria previously destroyed the small island of Dominica, even destroying the house of its leader. The storm has killed at least nine in the Carribean.
More details to follow. Image of Puerto Rico from CNN news agency.