Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace for category-5 Hurricane MariaLast updated on Sep 20, 2017, 12:57 pm
Hurricane Maria is bearing down on the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after inflicting "widespread damage" on the Caribbean island of Dominica.
The category-five hurricane has sustained wind speeds of 280km/h.
Puerto Rico is expected to take a direct hit from the eye of the storm.
Maria is following roughly the same path as Hurricane Irma, which devastated the region two weeks ago.
Maria damages nearly 90% houses in Dominica
On Monday, the eye of Hurricane Maria passed directly over the island of Dominica, home to around 72,000 people.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least six people have died and 90% of the buildings on the island have suffered damage.
Aerial footage shows flattened buildings, uprooted trees, and strewn debris.
The hurricane has cut off all communications with the island.
Hurricane Maria could be "potentially catastrophic" for Puerto Rico
The governor of the US territory of Puerto Rico has ordered the island's 3.5 million population to seek shelter.
Authorities are concerned that the debris not yet cleared after Hurricane Irma may wreak havoc in the winds of Maria.
There are fears that heavy rain could lead to landslides. Storm surges up to 9 feet have also been predicted.
Irma-hit British Virgin Islands braces for Hurricane Maria
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) have issued a hurricane warning for Maria.
The territory was earlier struck by Hurricane Irma, leaving 90% of all houses destroyed or damaged.
BVI Governor Gus Jaspert said "shelter is a real issue" while UK international development secretary, Priti Patel, has described the current situation as an "unprecedented crisis."
Relief workers are rushing to secure debris left by Irma.