Maria strengthens into dangerous Category 4 hurricane
Sept 18 (Reuters) - Hurricane Maria has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale and is expected to strengthen further, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday.
Hurricane Maria was about 35 miles (55 km) northeast of Martinique, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 km per hour), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.
"The center of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday," the NHC said. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)