Puerto Rico hit by Hurricane Maria's 'dreaded pinhole eye'

"Maria is developing the dreaded pinhole eye."  

It's an announcement from the US National Hurricane Center that has put fear into those in the path of the category 3 storm.

Puerto Rico has already felt the full force of Hurricane Maria. 

The hurricane hit the US territory on Monday evening local time. The devastation was immediate with roofs torn from houses, trees ripped out of the ground and flooding choking the streets. 

That tiny eye is a rare occurrence, meaning that the storm is moving with impressive force and spinning faster than normal. 

Speaking to Business Insider, research meteorologist Ryan Maue explained that it's all to do with energy conservation. Just as figure skaters appear to give themselves an extra boost of momentum by tucking in a leg or arm, a hurricane's speed can be roughly gauged based on the tightness of its inner eye.

One of the most recent storms with a pinhole eye was hurricane Wilma in 2005, which resulted in 63 deaths and more than US$29 billion of damage in Florida.

Around 9:30pm local time on Wednesday night, Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica's Prime Minster published a post on his official Facebook page saying: "My roof is gone. I am completely at the mercy of the hurricane."

Shortly before the storm public servants gave dire warnings to residents that they needed to find safe shelter. 

"You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you're going to die," public safety commissioner Hector Pesquera said.