Sep 20, 2017

Maria levels entire towns, leaves Puerto Rico without power

Two girls play on cots at Humacao Arena refugee center in Puerto Rico Tuesday while waiting for the imminent impact of Maria. Photo: Carlos Giusti / AP

Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico just after 6:15 a.m. this morning as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155mph. It has since been downgraded to a Category 2 with winds at 110mph off the northwest coast of Puerto Rico. Homes are flooding and power lines have been downed across the entire island. Officials predict entire towns will have to be rebuilt.

Maria is the most powerful hurricane to threaten the region in almost 90 years.

Up next: The Dominican Republic is expected to experience hurricane conditions soon and Maria is expected to move to the Turks and Caicos Islands and to the southeastern Bahamas Thursday morning.

The latest:

  • The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosello, implemented a curfew, 6pm-6am effective Wednesday to Saturday.
  • One of Puerto Rico's biggest shelters lost its roof, according to witness accounts. More than 500 shelters were opened, per Rosello.
  • At least 7 have died from the hurricane in Dominica. 2 reportedly died on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The U.S. Virgin Islands Operations Center said it was too dangerous to check on St. Croix residents.

Go deeper: Caribbean islands leveled by back-to-back hurricanes

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.