September 20, 2017 1:46 am

Space station captures chilling Hurricane Maria footage on its fearsome path to Puerto Rico

International Space Station captured stunning footage of Hurricane Maria at full strength just before it hits Puerto Rico.

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Hurricane Maria was heading for Puerto Rico in a terrifying vortex of wind and rain on Tuesday, in footage that was captured by the International Space Station (ISS).

The ISS took chilling video of the Category 5 storm as it approached the island, in images that gave a true sense of its scale before it made landfall there.

Coverage of Hurricane Maria on Globalnews.ca:

The footage showed the storm ready to pound an island that was already hit hard by Hurricane Irma only two weeks ago.

Maria’s outer eyewall hit St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday night with a sustained wind blowing at a speed of 144 km/h, while a gust blew at 204 km/h.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 280 km/h, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

A hurricane warning was also in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques, and the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata.

A view of palm trees blowing in the wind in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 19 September 2017.

Thais Llorica/EPA

Storm surge as high as nine feet was expected in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and as high as 11 feet in the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico was also expected to see anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of rain, with as much as 25 inches expected in isolated parts.

“Several tornadoes” were also projected for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A projection of Maria’s winds showed them reaching as far as North Carolina on Saturday.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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