Category 4 storm hit U.S. island territory 2 weeks after Hurricane Irma
Ninety percent of Puerto Rico's 3.3 million residents are without power Wednesday after Hurricane Maria pummeled the U.S. territory with a force not seen in decades.
The extremely dangerous Category 4 storm made landfall on Puerto Rico after killing seven people on the Caribbean island of Dominica.
Its winds broke two National Hurricane Center (NHC) radars in Puerto Rico, where more than 10,000 people are in shelters, according to Governor Ricardo Rossello.
Rossello's spokesman, Carlos Mercader, called Maria a hurricane of "historic proportions", according to media reports.
Maria is the first Category 4 storm to hit the U.S. territory since 1932. It made landfall with winds of 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) that later slowed to 145 mph (233 kpm). The NHC warned that a deadly storm surge could reach 9 feet (2.7 meters) on the coast.
A Category 4 hurricane is defined by the NHC as being able to rip off roofs of well-built framed homes, causing power outages.
"Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months," the NHC guidelines say.
Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Irma, which hit two weeks ago and caused up to $1 billion in damage, according to the Bloomberg news agency.