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Tropical storm Emily nears Caribbean nations

08-04-2011 15:23 BJT

SANTO DOMINGO, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Tropical storm Emily is approaching Caribbean nations, forcing flight cancellations in the Dominican Republic. Haiti and Cuba have also taken precautionary measures.

The airports in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday canceled four flights to Puerto Rico, as tropical storm Emily lingered 190 km southeast of Santo Domingo, the local media said.

Some flights from South America, Panama and Costa Rica are also expected to be canceled Wednesday afternoon.

The storm is heading west at 22 kph, and its center is expected to hit the southern region of Barahona Peninsula, 200 km south of Santo Domingo, Wednesday evening, the National Meteorological Office said, adding that the storm could reach 100 kph in the next 48 hours.

The Dominican government issued a national alert for the incoming storm and began evacuating people in high-risk zones.

Meanwhile, the tropical storm alert was in effect for Haiti. All aid groups were mobilized and people were warned of the possibility of another disaster to this quake-stricken country.

Haitian President Michel Martelly said that hundreds of buildings are ready to be used as shelters and more than 20 buses are on standby to transport people there in case of flooding.

The Cuban government is well prepared to update information for the eastern provinces of Guantanamo and Holguin ahead of the storm, the Cuban National Institute of Meteorology and the Civil Defense said in a joint statement.

Havana urged those regions to increase hydrometeorological surveillance on reservoirs, coastal towns and riverside lowlands.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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