Hurricane Maria, weakened to Category 2, is advancing toward the eastern part of the Dominican Republic with maximum winds of 110 miles per hour (175 km / h), having caused devastation and “catastrophic” floods in Puerto Rico.
The hurricane, which landed in Puerto Rico this Wednesday with category 4, is located 75 miles (120 km) east of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and moves northwest at 12 mph (19 km / h) ), according to the US National Hurricane Center (CNH).
In its local 5 pm local time (21.00 GMT), the CNH indicates that it is expected to continue to move northwest although with a gradual decrease in speed until Thursday evening and on Friday to the north-west.
It is also expected to regain strength between today and tomorrow and again be a major category hurricane on Thursday.
The pattern of trajectory indicates that the center of Maria will move away of the northwest coast of Puerto Rico during the course of this afternoon.
The center of the hurricane will pass tonight, local time, and Thursday on waters near the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic and then move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeast Bahamas on Thursday night and Friday.
Forecasters expect some strengthening from Marioa in the next two days.
A hurricane warning is still in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques, from Cabo Engaño to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas.
In the Dominican Republic, from the west of Puerto Plata to the north of the border with Haiti and from the west of Cabo Engaño to Punta Palenque, a tropical storm warning rules.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center of Maria and those with tropical storm force up to 150 miles (240 km).
The minimum central pressure is 957 millibars.
Conditions typical of a tropical storm are already felt in the warning areas of the Dominican Republic this local afternoon and hurricane conditions in specific areas will be given this very night.
Winds, swells, waves, rains and tornadoes are expected in the area under Maria’s influence.