The following Emergency Message is being transmitted to alert U.S. citizens to the development of Hurricane Maria. The National Hurricane Center (NHC; www.nhc.noaa.gov) reports that Hurricane Maria is headed for the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane Maria is now a Category Five hurricane on the Safir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days.
U.S. citizens residing and traveling in coastal areas of the Turks and Caicos Islands should be alert to flooding. Small craft operators throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands should seek safe harbor for their vessels.
Given the approaching hurricane, there is limited time available for a safe departure. We recommend U.S. citizens depart the Turks and Caicos Islands if possible and work with commercial air carriers to leave prior to the arrival of the hurricane. Airports will close once conditions deteriorate and safe travel is not possible. We recommend those citizens who are unable to depart to shelter in place in a secure location.
Travelers should apprise family and friends in the United States of their whereabouts, and keep in close contact with their tour operator, hotel staff, and local officials for evacuation instructions. Travelers should also protect their travel and identity documents against loss or damage, as the need to replace lost documentation could hamper or delay return to the United States.
The U.S. Embassy advises all U.S. citizens living in and/or visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands to take certain basic precautions immediately in preparation for the storm.
For further information: