...Storm strengthens, heads towards Haiti
Tropical Storm Isaac could become a hurricane as it barrels down on the Dominican Republic and Haiti by today, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The NHC said that Isaac, which is moving with "some erratic motion towards the west near 12 miles per hour (mph), should pass to the south of the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
It said that the storm should have approached the Dominican Republic by last night and that while winds have decreased to near 40 mph, "however re-strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Isaac could become a hurricane on Friday".
A hurricane warning has been issued for all of Haiti, often hit by disastrous floods and mudslides, as well as for most of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
"Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion," the NHC said.
The NHC said that tropical storm conditions should begin to subside over the Leeward Islands on Thursday morning, but tropical storm conditions are expected over Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands.
"Hurricane conditions are expected over portions of the Dominican Republic by tonight and early Friday and over portions of Haiti on Friday. Tropical storm conditions are possible over the south eastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands by late Friday".
The NHC said that total rainfall accumulations of four to eight inches are possible over the northern Windward and the Leeward Islands.
Isaac is also expected to dump up a significant amount of rain over Hispaniola, spelling trouble for the 400,000 Haitians still huddled in makeshift slums more than two years after the disastrous earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people.
Meanwhile, the centre of tropical depression 10 was located latitude 14.5 north, longitude 40.6 west and could have become a tropical storm by last night or today.
The NHC said that the centre of the storm was 1, 385 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. See Page 30