PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Friday September 22, 2017 – The death toll from Hurricane Maria in the region is now at least 33, with the latest fatalities occurring in Haiti when the Category 3 storm passed close to the French-speaking Caribbean nation yesterday.
Officials say one man drowned as he tried to cross a river while two others were struck by lightning.
Those three add to the 15 confirmed dead in Dominica where Maria made a direct hit as a Category 5 hurricane late Monday, 13 in Puerto Rico and two in Guadeloupe.
The hurricane, carrying maximum sustained winds near 125 miles per hour, was this morning passing northeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).
At 11 a.m., the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said Maria was about 55 miles north of Grand Turk Island and 445 miles east southeast of the Bahamian capital, Nassau, and was moving towards the northwest at 8 miles per hour.
On the forecast track, it said, Maria’s core would move away from the Turks and Caicos Islands today, and pass northeast and east of the Bahamas through Sunday, by which time it may lose some intensity.
“A gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours,” the NHC said.
Forecasters say hurricane and tropical storm conditions are occurring over portions of the TCI and the southeastern Bahamas and will continue through tonight; while tropical storm conditions are expected in the central Bahamas beginning tonight.