FLIGHTS CANCELLED..... AND FEAR FOR GULF OIL
MIAMI: Tropical Storm Earl bulked up to hurricane strength on a track toward islands in the eastern Caribbean on Sunday, while Hurricane Danielle
weakened to a Category 1 storm, the US National Hurricane Center said.
Earl reached hurricane status early Sunday and had winds of 75 mph (120 kph) at late morning, when it was about 225 miles (360 km) east of Antigua and
Warnings advising of high winds and other hurricane conditions within 24 hours went up on popular tourist islands, including Antigua, St. Kitts,
Nevis, Anguilla and St. Maarten, the hurricane center said. Earl was moving at 17 mph (28 kph).
Forecasts showed Earl strengthening to a major hurricane by Tuesday and turning west-northwest in the next 48 hours before accelerating northward off
the US East Coast later in the week, far from the oil-producing Gulf Coast region.
Government officials also issued hurricane watches cautioning of possible hurricane weather within 36 hours for the United States and British Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico, including the islands of Culebra and Vieques.
Caribbean airline LIAT cancelled 41 flights to several destinations in the eastern Caribbean and shut down its reservation service because of Earl's
approach, according to a company statement.
Now far at sea, Hurricane Danielle had been a major Category 4 storm but weakened to Category 1 and was about 575 miles (930) east of Bermuda in late
morning. Its top sustained winds fell to 85 mph (140 kph), as it moved northeast past the British island territory of Bermuda and farther from North
America's East Coast.
Danielle was expected to weaken gradually in the next two days and lose its tropical characteristics.
The hurricane center said it expected large waves and dangerous surf conditions to diminish near Bermuda on Sunday and subside slowly along the US
East Coast within the next two days.
"It looks like we dodged a bullet," Bermuda bank employee Stuart Roberts, 31, said of Danielle.
Forecasters in Miami were also watching a low pressure system of storms midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles that was likely to come together
as a tropical depression at any time. They predicted the unnamed system had an 80 percent likelihood of becoming a tropical storm during the next two
Read more: New hurricane Earl joins Danielle - US - World - The Times of India