New hurricane forms over open Atlantic

Maria - new hurricane has formed in the Atlantic Ocean, but unlike Hurricane Katrina it does not pose a threat to land, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Hurricane Maria was centered 605 miles (970 km) southeast of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) the fifth hurricane of the season.

"Maria should remain well to the east of Bermuda and only pose a threat to shipping interests," the Hurricane Center said. Maria was a category 1 storm, with hurricane force winds extending up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center.

At its peak, Katrina was a category 5 storm and caused catastrophic damage in Louisiana and Mississippi when it made landfall last Monday.

Maria is the 13th named storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, one of the busiest on record, reports Reuters.

Image: the AP

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