BRIDGETOWN (BARBADOS), Aug 28 (Reuters / EP) –
Tropical storm 'Dorian' moves to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and was expected to gain strength and become a hurricane when it approaches the islands on Wednesday.
The governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez, declared on Monday the state of emergency for the US territory, which was hit hard in September 2017 by hurricanes 'Irma' and 'María'.
This Tuesday afternoon, the storm was about 129 kilometers west of the Dominican Republic, with maximum sustained winds of 80 kilometers per hour, according to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC), which is based in Miami.
The NHC has indicated that the storm center is expected to pass near or over the west and center of Puerto Rico on Wednesday and that same day at night near or east of Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti .
“A slow strengthening is forecast for the next 48 hours, and that 'Dorian' is close to having the strength of a hurricane when it approaches Puerto Rico on Wednesday,” the NHC said. A storm becomes a hurricane when maximum sustained winds reach 119 kilometers per hour.
'Dorian' is expected to weaken slightly after passing through Puerto Rico, before regaining strength on Thursday and Friday as it approaches the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeast of the Bahamas.