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Dominica 'devastated' by Hurricane Maria

HURRICANE MARIA: A satellite image shows the eye of Hurricane Maria bearing down on Dominica (Photo credit: NASA/AP)

HURRICANE MARIA has caused widespread damage to Dominica, as the latest Atlantic storm hits islands still reeling from Irma.

The hurricane strengthened to an "extremely dangerous" and "potentially catastrophic" category five storm on Monday night (Sep 18), before making landfall with top winds swirling at 160mph.

"We have lost all what money can buy and replace," Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wrote on Facebook, saying there were initial reports of "widespread devastation".

Dangerous storm surges, destructive waves, flash floods and mudslides also threaten the Leeward Islands - the island group that includes Martinique, Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin islands.

The storm is moving along roughly the same path as Hurricane Irma, which devastated several islands and parts of Florida earlier this month.

Hurricane warnings have also been issued for the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat. A tropical storm warning is also in force for Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten, St Lucia and Anguilla.

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