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Tropical Storm Earl Forms South of Jamaica; At Least Six Dead in Dominican Republic

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REGIONAL

FLORIDA, United States, Tuesday August 2, 2016 – It’s official. Tropical Storm Earl is here.

 

It formed this morning south of Jamaica.

 

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami is expected to issue its first advisory on the storm before noon.

 

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday, August 2, 2016 – Jamaica is on a tropical storm warning as a vigorous tropical wave that forecasters say will become Tropical Storm Earl as early as today passes south of the Caribbean island.

 

The wave is moving rapidly westward at about 20 miles per hour, toward the northwestern the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said this morning.

 

Despite not being a tropical depression or storm, at least six people were killed in the Dominican Republic yesterday as this system passed near the island. The system knocked down power lines near the north-eastern town of Nagua and started a fire that killed six passengers on a bus.

 

According to the Associated Press, conditions from the system may have also caused a tour boat to overturn near the Samana Peninsula on Sunday. The bodies of three people were recovered and four other people are missing.

 

A Hurricane Hunter will investigate the tropical wave to see if a sufficiently-defined low-level centre, which has been absent, is now in place to categorise the system as Tropical Storm Earl.

 

“Environmental conditions are favourable for additional development, and a tropical storm will likely form later today,” it said.

 

“The wave is already producing winds of 40 to 45 mph, and these conditions along with heavy rains will likely continue over portions of Jamaica this morning, and will spread over the Cayman Islands later today.”

 

It said interests in the western Caribbean Sea, primarily the north coast of Honduras, Belize, and the Yucatan Peninsula, should monitor products issued by their local meteorological services for possible watches and warnings.

 

The Meteorological Service in Jamaica issued a tropical storm warning as the wave moved closer to the island, bringing with it tropical storm conditions.

 

Flash flooding is possible in low-lying and flood-prone areas and members of the public who live in those areas have been advised to be ready to evacuate.

 

All small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, have been told to remain in the safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions return to normal.

 

(Caribbean 360)

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