As residents of Puerto Rico brace for Hurricane Maria — which slammed into the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm Monday night — Puerto Rico’s governor is calling the storm “the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century.”

Maria, which has left at least two dead in the Caribbean, is forecast to “remain an extremely dangerous Category 4 or 5 hurricane” as it approaches Puerto Rico early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

Maria could bring life-threatening flooding and mudslides, as well as a 6- to 9-foot storm surge, to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Dangerous flash flooding and mudslides are also possible, especially in mountainous regions in Puerto Rico.

As of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Maria’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to 160 mph, but it remained a Category 5 storm. Maria’s maximum sustained winds had been as high as 175 mph during the day Tuesday. It was located 35 miles west of St. Croix and 70 miles southeast of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. The storm is expected to reach the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning.

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