Puerto Rico has been “destroyed” by Hurricane Maria’s might, officials said Wednesday hours after the storm made landfall on the island as a Category 4 storm.
The entire island is without power, and telecommunications have “collapsed,” Puerto Rico’s office of emergency management told ABC News.
Deadly storm surge of up to 8 feet was predicted for the island’s coastal areas
About 80 percent of residences in the Juana Matos community were destroyed by Maria, with homes filled with up to 4 feet of water.
Debris littered streets in the town of Guaynabo, about 10 miles south of San Juan. Trees and power lines were down, and storefronts and building codes had succumbed to the whipping winds.
Correspondents on the ground said that neighborhoods in Guaynabo were filled with homes that were clearly not built to any kind of code.
Despite the widespread destruction, there have been no reports of deaths, officials said.
A 6 p.m. curfew has been ordered by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello to establish order so emergency workers can begin their assessments and search and rescue efforts.
After wreaking havoc on Puerto Rico, the hurricane churned toward Turks and Caicos and the southeast Bahamas.
Although is not expected to make landfall again, hurricane watches and warnings are in effect in parts of the Caribbean through Sunday, and the storm is expected to cause dangerous surf and rip currrents on the east coast of the U.S. early next week.
Before reaching Puerto Rico, Maria left behind a trail of death and destruction in other parts of the Caribbean, including Dominca, Guadeloupe and the Virgin Islands.
(H/T: ABC News)