Fresh from a thorough pummeling by Hurricane Irma, yet another violent storm is poised to wreak havoc on the Caribbean. This one’s name is Maria, and she is not fucking around.
Having already made landfall on the island of Dominica, the category five storm—yes, another one—is on track to hurtle toward Puerto Rico in the coming days. In Dominica, she wasted no time tearing the roof off the home of the country’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, with the help of her 160 mph winds.
“My roof is gone,” Skerrit wrote on Facebook. “I am at the complete mercy of the hurricane. House is flooding.” He added in a later post that he had been rescued.
Maria is expected to hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by Wednesday, just two weeks after Irma killed at least three on the latter, ABC News reports. Governor Ricardo Rossello said that the weather will begin to deteriorate by midday Tuesday, and that the island could get between 12 and 18 inches of rain. Residents are being urged to evacuate immediately, though this time, fortunately, it’s unlikely the hurricane will hit the U.S. mainland.
Scientists say it’s premature to correlate human activity with the increasingly violent weather seen around the world, though of course that doesn’t mean such a relationship doesn’t exist—only that it has yet to be modeled.
That said, researchers at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory conclude that by the end of the century, tropical cyclones will be up to 11 percent more intense than they are now, a change that “would imply an even larger percentage increase in the destructive potential per storm, assuming no reduction in storm size.” Something to look forward to!