Trump says Puerto Rico has been ‘totally obliterated’ as Maria unlikely to hit the continental United States.
After leaving a trail of death and destruction behind it, Hurricane Maria is now taking a northerly track away from the Caribbean, but possibly towards the US east coast.
Assuming Maria continues heading north at 15km/h, it will pass within 150 to 250km of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
This brings the prospect of some very heavy rain across eastern North Carolina. But of greater concern is the effect that Maria will have on the sea state along a good part of the Eastern Seaboard.
Like its predecessor, Hurricane Jose, Maria is likely to increase swell along the coast, which, in turn, will generate large surf and dangerous rip currents.
Rip currents are powerful narrow channels of fast-flowing water that can often be found along beaches and around headlands.
Rip currents kill an average of 46 people each year around the coast of the US, although this year the death toll has already reached 50, and with Maria looming over the horizon there are fears that this number will grow.