Thu | Oct 18, 2018

UPDATE: Maria upgraded to Category 4

Published:Monday | September 18, 2017 | 4:17 PM
Cone shows the probable path of Hurricane Maria.

Hurricane Maria has intensified into a dangerous Category 4 storm as it bears down on the Caribbean.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday the storm is growing in strength as it approaches land. The eye of the storm is expected to pass near the island of Dominica on Monday evening.

The centre called the storm "extremely dangerous," with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph).

At 5 p.m. EDT, the storm was centred about 45 miles (70 kilometres) east-southeast of Dominica.

A Hurricane warning has been issued for Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques.

READ: Dominican Republic president cancels UN speech, heads home to prepare for Hurricane Maria