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First Atlantic hurricane puts Dominica on alert

July 7, 2018 2:17 AM
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MIAMI: The Caribbean island of Dominica, ravaged by the deadly passage of Hurricane Maria last year, was again under a hurricane watch Friday as the first such storm of the 2018 Atlantic season moved toward the Lesser Antilles.

Dominica, a former British colony where Maria left more than 30 people dead last September, was the only area where hurricane conditions were possible so far as Hurricane Beryl moved west, said the United States National Hurricane Centre in Miami.

The centre added that the French tourist islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St Barthelemy, as well as French-Dutch St Martin, were under a tropical storm watch, meaning that tropical storm conditions were possible.

The islands suffered billions of dollars' worth of damage and some fatalities when hurricanes Irma and Maria struck last year.

At 0000 GMT, (8 am Malaysia time) on Saturday, Beryl, a Category One hurricane, packed winds of 130kph and was pushing westward at 15 miles per hour, about 925 miles east-southeast of the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles island chain, the NHC said.


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