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Hurricane Maria rocks Puerto Rico as island’s strongest storm in modern history

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(Note: This story will be updated throughout the day as the storm moves across Puerto Rico.)

Hurricane Maria, one of the 10 most intense storms on record in the Atlantic Ocean basin, roared ashore in southeastern Puerto Rico, near Yabucoa, at 6:15 a.m. ET. 

It hit the island as a powerful Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, down somewhat from its peak of 175 miles per hour on Tuesday night. 

This is the most intense storm to make landfall in Puerto Rico since at least the San Ciprian Hurricane of 1932, which was also a Category 4. The storm is likely to inflict its greatest damage to the communities along its southeastern shore, including Yabucoa, where inundation of 6 to 9 feet above normally dry ground is likely from the combination of storm surge flooding and high, battering waves.  Read more…

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Goldfish, released into the wild, are somehow surviving in saltwater

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In case you didn’t know, goldfish aren’t meant to survive in saltwater.

Yet that’s what James Tweedley and researchers from the Centre of Fish and Fisheries at Murdoch University discovered in the Vasse and Wonnerup estuaries, located in south-western Australia. 

They’ve been surveying the invasion of goldfish in these waterways, the results of which have been published in an article in the journal, International Aquatic Research. And well, it’s not looking good.

“If you have a goldfish at home, you’d just put it in a tank with tap water which has a salinity of zero,” Tweedley explained. “By comparison the ocean has a salinity of about 35, and we found [the goldfish] in about 17 — which is halfway between the two, but a lot more than we’d expect.” Read more…

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Horrific videos capture terror of Mexico’s latest earthquake

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In a scary coincidence, Mexico City and nearby areas were shaken by a powerful earthquake Tuesday—on the anniversary of a deadly quake that killed thousands in the city 32 years ago. 

The U.S. Geological Survey measured Tuesday’s earthquake at magnitude 7.1 with its center just southeast of Mexico City. The AP reports that at least 44 people have died as a result of the quake. 

Prelim M7.1 earthquake Puebla region, Mexico Sep-19 18:14 UTC, updates https://t.co/tCNdYIRPAl

— USGS Big Quakes (@USGSBigQuakes) September 19, 2017

Frightening videos came in on Twitter showing the moment the quake struck the huge capital city.  Read more…

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Hurricane Maria seen swirling from space in new video

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The only real way to understand the scale of a   Category 5 hurricane like Maria on Earth is to see it from space.

A new video taken by onboard cameras on the International Space Station shows the scale of Hurricane Maria like nothing else. 

The 45-second video clip shows off the Category 5 storm’s swirling clouds and pinhole eye in the Caribbean on September 19. 

Station cameras captured dramatic views of Hurricane Maria as it churned through Caribbean Sept. 19 as a category 5 stormpic.twitter.com/cM76v6A0mi

— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) September 19, 2017 Read more…

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Hurricane Maria will be the most destructive storm in Puerto Rico’s history

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The theme of the 2017 hurricane season — dire, destructive, and deadly storms bordering on hyperbolically intensity — continues with Hurricane Maria. 

The powerful storm is taking aim at the U.S. Virgin Islands, particularly St. Croix, as well as Puerto Rico. 

It’s difficult to overstate the danger that Hurricane Maria poses to Puerto Rico, an American territory home to 3.4 million. This storm is unlike any other that the island has experienced since the 1920s or 1930s. 

The storm is likely to act like a buzzsaw wherever its tightly wrapped eyewall touches. This part of the storm, which encircles the calm eye, contains the strongest winds, which may gust above 200 miles per hour. This wind will mow down trees and strip them of vegetation, drive branches and street signs into power lines, tearing apart homes and businesses roof first.  Read more…

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Prime minister posts harrowing account of hurricane on Facebook

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Hurricane Maria is slamming the small Caribbean island of Dominica, and the prime minister is experiencing it firsthand — and posting about it on Facebook. 

The Category 5 storm hit the island on Monday night, when Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit posted these terrifying messages. 

A little before 10 p.m. ET, things got really bad. 

Shortly after, he followed it up with this more reassuring post. 

Still, the island is getting battered by 160 mph winds. It’s the first time in the country’s history that it has faced a Category 5 storm.  Read more…

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