Hurricane Warning for Parts of Dominican Republic

Posted August 21st, 2011 at 9:20 am (UTC-5)
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Tropical Storm Irene is lashing the Leeward Islands with wind and rain as it moves westward on a course that could help strengthen it to a hurricane by Monday.

The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with earthquake-ravaged Haiti, issued a hurricane warning for its southern coast. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico issued a hurricane watch. Haiti is under a tropical storm watch.

In Miami, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Irene was near the Leeward Islands heading toward Haiti, Cuba and possibly the southern U.S. state of Florida. The storm had winds of 85 kilometers per hour.

Irene is the ninth named storm of this year's Atlantic hurricane season.

Separately, Tropical Storm Harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression after pounding Guatemala and eastern Mexico with heavy rain, prompting concerns about mudslides in the mountainous areas.