SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency says the eye of Hurricane Irma is expected to be 35 miles (56 kilometers) from San Juan at 7 p.m. EST.
Abner Gomez says wind gusts of up to 100 mph (160 kph) could reach Puerto Rico’s capital.
More than 600,000 people are without power and nearly 50,000 without water on Puerto Rico. Fourteen hospitals are using generators after losing power, and trees and lights posts are strewn across some roads.
Hurricane Katia has also formed in the Gulf off the coast of Mexico with sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane watch for the coast of the state of Veracruz from Tuxpan to Laguna Verde.
Katia is anticipated to drift toward the coast on Thursday.
The announcement of Hurricane Katia came minutes after the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Jose had formed in the open Atlantic, far from land and well east of Hurricane Irma.
Jose has winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and is quickly strengthening, but poses no immediate threat to land.