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 a Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area. Hurricane Maria is currently a Category Four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days.
Due to intensifying hurricane conditions, the Providenciales Airport in the Turks and Caicos Islands will cease flight operations as of 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, for safety reasons. The airport will reopen to international commercial airlines after Hurricane Maria passes and a damage and safety assessment are completed by the Government of the Turks and Caicos.
We recommend U.S. citizens depart the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands if possible and work with commercial air carriers to leave prior to the arrival of the hurricane. We recommend those citizens who are unable to depart to shelter in place in a secure location.
Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. U.S. citizens residing and traveling in coastal areas of the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands should be alert to flooding. Small craft operators throughout that region should seek safe harbor for their vessels.
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 Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands to take certain basic precautions immediately in preparation for the storm.
For further information: