Hurricane Maria was upgraded from a tropical storm Sunday afternoon as it takes aim at Caribbean islands devastated less than two weeks ago by Hurricane Irma. As of Sunday afternoon, Maria was about 140 miles (225 kilometers) east-northeast of Barbados, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane, hurling winds of 75 mph, and is forecast to continue

moving toward the eastern Caribbean at 15 mph. “Maria has strengthened to a hurricane and could be near major hurricane intensity which it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall hazards,” the hurricane center said. Maria is one of three storms churning in the Atlantic Ocean, but it poses the most danger to the hurricane-battered Caribbean. READ MORE