Hurricane Maria is taking aim at Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands left in ruins by Hurricane Irma.
The storm strengthened Monday to a Category 3, with sustained winds of 120 mph. Hurricane Maria is expected to gain more strength by the time it makes landfall on Monday evening in the northeast Caribbean’s Leeward Islands.
When it hits Puerto Rico it will reportedly be the first time in 85 years that a storm of its strength made direct landfall on the island.
Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm’s arrival, which is estimated to happen on Wednesday. In U.S. territory was grazed by Hurricane Irma earlier this month as that storm headed for Cuba and Florida. In preparation of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico opened shelters and dismantled construction cranes that could be vulnerable to Maria’s winds.
“It is time to seek refuge with a family member, friend, or move to a state shelter because rescuers will not go out and risk their lives once winds reach 50 miles per hour,” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló told reporters on Monday.