Hurricane Maria is on track to hit Guadeloupe, one of the Leeward Islands. The French government has already issued a hurricane warning for the island, which has a population over 400,000. The U.S. National Hurricane Center predicts that Maria it will reach the Leeward Islands on Monday.
The 5 p.m. ET public advisory from the NHC in Miami reports that Maria is 140 miles (225 km) southeast of the Leeward Islands. It has a maximum sustained winds at 75 mph (120 km/h) and is moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 km/h).
Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat are already under a hurricane warning because of Irma. According to the NHC:
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
Martinique, another French island in the Caribbean, is under a Tropical Storm Warning.
When Hurricane Irma hit the French Caribbean islands in early September, it killed nine people, according to the AFP. Ninety-five percent of the homes on the French side of St. Martin, which is split with The Netherlands, were destroyed. A French government group estimated that Irma caused a combined 200 million euros ($240 million) in damage to the islands.
Guadeloupe is one of France’s Overseas Departments in the Caribbean, along with Martinique. This means that they are almost at the same level as the French mainland departments and are members of the European Union. Saint Barthélemy and St. Martin are overseas collectivities.
With a population over 400,000, Guadeloupe is the largest European Union territory in the Western Hemisphere by population.