Puerto Rico gov: Maria could be 'most catastrophic' storm in century
© NOAA

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D) issued a stark warning about the effects of Hurricane Maria as it tears through the island. 

Rosselló referred to the monster storm as "the biggest and potentially most catastrophic hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in a century" in an address on Tuesday and warned the residents to hunker down for the next 72 to 90 hours. 

"No matter what happens here in the next 36 hours, Puerto Rico will survive, we will rebuild, we will recover and with your support, we will come out stronger than ever," the governor said. 

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Maria, currently a Category 4 hurricane, is hitting the island Wednesday with 145 mph winds and up to 25 inches of rain to the region, which is still coming to grips with the damage of Hurricane Irma.

The storm is also expected to produce widespread power outages. 

Over 300 people are in shelters across the island, according to Rosselló. 

Maria tore through the Caribbean island of Dominica late on Monday, bringing winds up to 160 mph. 

It has been just two weeks since the Caribbean experienced the wrath of Irma, which left dozens of people dead. 

Hurricane warnings are currently in place for Puerto Rico, the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, as well as St. Kitts and Nevis. So far, Maria is expected to stay away from the U.S. mainland.