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Maria strengthens to Category 3 hurricane

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MIAMI– The National Hurricane Center in Miami says that Hurricane Maria has strengthened to a Category 3 storm as it headed toward the Caribbean.

Maria on Monday was “rapidly” intensifying into a major hurricane. The eye is expected to move through the Leeward Islands later Monday. The storm’s center was about 60 miles (95 kilometers) east of Martinique, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph).

The storm is on a path that would take it near many of the islands wrecked by Hurricane Irma and on toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Hurricane warnings were posted for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Martinique.

More stories on Hurricane Maria here