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Hurricane Maria Pounds Dominica, en Route to US Virgin Islands
Category 5 Hurricane Maria, the second major storm to hit the Caribbean this month, paced towards the US Virgin Islands after ripping through the small island nation of Dominica, home to 72,000 people, Reuters reports. Dominica faced widespread devastation, as the majority of the nation's infrastructure got demolished and many remained trapped and in need of medical assistance. Although Maria remains far from the US oil production heartland in the Gulf of Mexico, it could still dampen oil demand and disrupt maritime trading routes, as was the case with Hurricane Irma.
The hurricane is set to impact the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday, which according to the Islands' Governor would cause the majority of islanders to be without electricity for weeks, and many to lose power for months. Meanwhile, brokers report that this could potentially impact direct supply since Caribbean refiner Hovensa which has operational crude and product storage tanks with capacity of 13M barrels is located at St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.