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Maria intensifies into 'potentially catastrophic' Category 5 hurricane

(Xinhua)    09:56, September 19, 2017

Hurricane Maria has become a category five storm, the highest classification, as it was bearing down on the Caribbean island of Dominica, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.

The "potentially catastrophic" hurricane was about 15 miles (25 km) east-southeast of Dominica, with maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour (260 km per hour), according to the NHC.

(Hurricane Maria on its way to Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe island on September 18, 2017. /Reuters Photo‍)

"Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two," the NHC warned.

Maria is moving roughly along the same path as Irma, which left at least 37 people dead and caused billions of dollars' worth of damage.

Meanwhile, another hurricane, Jose, is also active in the Atlantic, with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (145 km per hour). 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shan Xin, Bianji)

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