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Tropical Storm Emily Heads Toward Hispaniola

Predicted track of Tropical Storm Emily
Predicted track of Tropical Storm Emily
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Tropical storm warnings and watches are posted for parts of the Caribbean as Tropical Storm Emily moves on a track that is expected to bring its center across Hispaniola Wednesday.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola. The news is particularly bad for Haiti, where thousands of people still live in tent camps after a devastating earthquake in January 2010.  One Haitian official tells the French news agency that authorities are asking people in the makeshift camps to evacuate vulnerable locations.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in its latest report Tuesday evening that Emily was about 265 kilometers south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, moving toward the west with 85 kilometer-per-hour winds.  It is expected to turn toward the northwest.  Rain from the outer bands of the storm is falling in Puerto Rico.

Forecasts for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti call for up to 15 centimeters of rain, although some areas could receive as much as 25 centimeters.  The hurricane center says the rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Eugene has developed a large eye and strengthened over the Pacific, but forecasters said no coastal watches or warnings are in effect.

The Category 2 storm, with winds of 165 kilometers per hour, was 970 kilometers south of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California area.  The storm is forecast to strengthen into a major hurricane before beginning to weaken on Wednesday as it moves over cooler waters.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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