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American military units were evacuated from the US Virgin Islands on Sunday

Maria is expected to become a dangerous major hurricane as it nears the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean.


The category one hurricane will rapidly strengthen over the next 48 hours and will hit the islands late on Monday, says the US National Hurricane Center.


It is moving roughly along the same path as Irma, the hurricane that devastated the region this month.


Hurricane warnings have been issued for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Martinique.


A hurricane watch is now in effect for Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, St Martin, St Barts, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla.


Some of these islands are still recovering after being hit by Irma - the category five hurricane which left at least 37 people dead and caused billions of dollars' worth of damage.

In its latest update on Monday, the NHC says Maria has maximum sustained winds of 90mph (150 km/h).


The eye of the storm is 100 miles east of Martinique, and Maria is moving west-northwest at about 13mph.


"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," the NHC says.


The most southerly point of the Leeward Islands - where Maria will first strike - include Antigua and Barbuda. The latter island was evacuated after being devastated by Irma.

 

Source: BBC

Monsoon rains have killed at least five people, including two toddlers, in Mumbai as India's financial capital ground to a halt under flooding.

Roads were hit by waist-deep flooding, flights cancelled and train services suspended, stranding tens of thousands.

More rain is expected but the situation has improved for now, the BBC's Suranjana Tewari says.

US President Donald Trump has again blamed both sides for the violent unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, which left one protester dead and others injured.

In a statement on Monday, he had condemned white supremacists. But in New York on Tuesday he also blamed left-wing supporters for charging at the "alt-right".

He also defended the time it took to make his statement, saying he had wanted to establish all the facts.

The hillside collapsed on to dozens of houses in Regent after heavy rain

At least 600 people are still missing following a mudslide and flooding that devastated parts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, a spokesman for the president has told the BBC.

President Ernest Bai Koroma earlier pleaded for "urgent support", saying entire communities had been wiped out.

Nearly 400 people are confirmed dead after a mudslide in the Regent area and floods elsewhere in Freetown on Monday.