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Weakening Paula Now a Tropical Storm

A couple walks along a highway as Hurricane Paula approaches the island in San Cristobal, Cuba, 13 Oct 2010

Hurricane Paula has now weakened into a tropical storm, as it continues to dump heavy rain along Cuba's northern coast.

The storm, with maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour, moved slowly (16 kilometers per hour) Thursday over Cuba's tobacco fields as it headed in a more easterly direction.

At last report (1800 UTC), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Paula was centered 115 kilometers west of Havana. It said the storm could weaken further and be classified as a tropical depression by Friday.

Heavy rain could fall in parts of Cuba, with up to 25 centimeters in the western and central regions.

Forecasters posted a tropical storm watch for parts of the Florida Keys, a chain of islands off southern Florida.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.