Hurricane Maria threat to Turks and Caicos Islands

Hurricane Maria threat to Turks and Caicos Islands

Hurricane Maria is forecast to hit the Turks and Caicos Islands today threatening more damage just weeks after Hurricane Irma struck.

A hotline was set up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for British people affected on the islands on +44 (0)20 7008 0000.

“If you are planning to travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands, you should be aware that our ability to provide assistance to you will be extremely limited at this time,” the FCO warned in an updated travel advisory.

British Airways is keeping its next scheduled services to and from Providenciales on the Turks and Caicos Islands on Sunday under review and are awaiting more information from the authorities.

The airline is also keeping Sunday flights to and from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic under review after cancelling a service yesterday.

The FCO continues to advise against all but essential travel to Dominica where at least 15 people are reported to have been killed and 20 others are missing as Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage to buildings, infrastructure and communications.

The storm later devastated Puerto Rico, leaving the whole island without power.

Authorities in the US territory are urging residents to seek higher ground ahead of flash flooding – with up to 30 inches more rain predicted by Saturday – in the aftermath of Maria.

The island’s Governor Ricardo Rossello described the hurricane as “the most devastating storm in a century” and said that Maria had hit the island’s electricity grid so badly that it could take months to restore power.

The storm has killed at least 17 people so far across the Caribbean, with many others missing. Two people died in the French territory of Guadeloupe.

At least 84 people were killed by category five Hurricane Irma earlier in the month.

The FCO no longer advises against all but essential travel to Anguilla and Montserrat while hurricane warnings for St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines have been lifted.

Some local infrastructure such as roads and houses have been damaged on St Kitts and Nevis and the islands’ airport is open and there are no reports of serious damage to hotels.

Hotels or tourist infrastructure on Antigua escaped being damaged by Hurricane Maria and the airport is open.

But the neighbouring island of Barbuda remains evacuated following the impact of Hurricane Irma.

“Visitors should follow the advice of the local authorities and their tour operators,” the FCO said.

Meanwhile, 98% of Palm Beach County’s hotels and 90% of the region’s cultural attractions are open, a week after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, according to local tourism marketing organisation Discover The Palm Beaches.

President and chief executive Jorge Pesquera said: “We are fortunate that The Palm Beaches experienced comparatively little damage from Irma, and our hearts go out to those who sustained the full impact.

“Palm Beach County only experienced power outages and uprooted trees, and recovered in 72 hours. All area tourist attractions are open, vibrant and bustling, and the ocean is as inviting as ever.”

More:

Foreign Office issues updated travel advice after Hurricane Maria

British holidaymakers evacuated from Hurricane Irma’s path

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