A hurricane warning has been issued St Lucia.
At 8:00am Monday, Maria was located 85 miles East of Martinique with maximum sustained winds of 110mph.
Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph, and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night
Maria is currently a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to become a dangerous major hurricane before it moves through the Leeward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Centre.
According to the St Lucia Met. Services, outerbands of Maria are expected to produce heavy showers, gusty winds and thunderstorms over St Lucia today.
Local forecasters are predicting waves and sea swells ten to fourteen feet for the next 24 to 36 hours.
Small craft operators and fishermen are strongly advised to remain in port and residents are advised to stay away from the beaches.
Residents in areas prone to flooding and landslides are advised to exercise vigilance.