First death attributed to Maria on Guadeloupe

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (CNN/WDEF/AP) — Officials say one person has died on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe after being hit by a falling tree.

It's the first death attributed to Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

Authorities say the person did not comply with orders to remain indoors on Tuesday morning. They say two other people are reported missing after their boat sank off La Desirade island, just east of Guadeloupe.

About 40 percent of the island is without power. That's 80,000 homes. Flooding has been reported in several communities, especially along the southern coast.

Officials say Les Saintes, Marie-Galant, Petit-Bourg and La Desirade have been the hardest hit. Roads are littered with fallen branches and trees but only limited infrastructure damage has been reported.

Former local judge Rebecca Stern bracing for hurricane at her new home in Puerto Rico.

A company that tracks the status of the internet around the world says most of Dominica's internet service appears to be down in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Akamai Technologies says it sees small spikes of activity, but far less than normal on Tuesday.

The company says it's possible that the island's electrical system is down.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was posting on Facebook after the Category 5 storm hit overnight, but his posts ceased hours ago and many report difficulties reaching people on the island by telephone.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says his state's citizens should carefully monitor Hurricane Maria.

The Category 5 storm is forecast to veer out into the Atlantic and miss the state. But Scott reminded people on Tuesday that Hurricane Irma's Irma's path shifted as it approached the U.S. and it wound up causing devastation.

Scott encouraged people to restock their hurricane kits, buy water and have an evacuation plan.

He said that about 2 percent of the state's electric customers are still without power due to Irma.

His comments came as he thanked first responders during an event in Tampa.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp says that the track of Hurricane Maria has shifted and the eye is now expected to pass over the southwestern tip of St. Croix.

That means parts of the island are expected to experience the full force of the storm winds that have now reached 160 mph (260 kph).

Conditions are expected to deteriorate tonight with the approach of the "extremely, extremely dangerous hurricane."

The Virgin Islands are already reeling from Hurricane Irma, which passed over the islands of St. Thomas and St. John.

Mapp warned Tuesday that Maria is expected to bring up to 12 inches of rain to St. John.

Forecasters say potentially catastrophic Hurricane Maria is continuing on its course toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. that the extremely dangerous Category 5 storm is forecast to hit the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

The top sustained winds of the storm are near 160 mph (260 kph) and the Miami-based center says some fluctuations in intensity are likely over the coming days.

The eye of Maria was about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of Guadeloupe or about 170 miles (275 kilometers) southeast of St. Croix. It was moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph (16 kph).

Meanwhile, Jose remained a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic as it whipped up dangerous surf and rip currents along the U.S. East Coast. It was about 335 miles (539 kilometers) south-southwest of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and had top sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).



 
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