Rains from Emily Drench Hispaniola

Posted August 4th, 2011 at 9:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Tropical Storm Emily has brought drenching rain to the island shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but has now weakened in the mountains dividing the two countries.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its most recent bulletin Thursday that Emily is “losing organization” as it interacts with the mountains of Hispaniola and could weaken to a tropical wave in the coming hours.

The storm was about 100 kilometers south-southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti,

moving northwest with winds of about 65 kilometers an hour.

Forecasters expect Emily or its remnants to move across the southwestern peninsula of Haiti later in the day, then pass over extreme eastern Cuba.

They say the storm could drop as much as 50 centimeters of rain on Haiti, possibly causing flash flooding and mudslides.

In Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tent cities after a devastating earthquake last year that left the city in ruins.

Haiti's tent cities perched on hillsides are particularly at risk, because much of the landscape has been stripped bare of trees, which have been cut down for use as fuel or building materials. A slow-moving storm in June caused mudslides and flooding that killed at least 28 people.

The U.S. National Weather Service said Thursday that the rest of the Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be unusually active, with three to five storms expected to become major hurricanes.

The season runs from from June 1 to November 30.