From Monsters and Critics.com|
Washington - Hurricane Emily once again strengthened to become a category four storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale early Saturday with Jamaica and the Cayman Islands lying directly in its path, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
A hurricane warning remained in effect for both countries with authorities warning citizens on Jamaica's south coast to evacuate if possible.
Emily had dropped to a category three hurricane Friday but gathered strength offshore. The storm was located about 350 kilometres southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, at 0500 GMT, and was moving west-northwest at about 30 kilometres an hour.
Maximum sustained winds were reported to be at least 215 kilometres per hour. Emily was expected to carry up to 20 centimetres of rain over Jamaica, possibly up to 38 centimetres in mountainous areas, which could "produce life- threatening flash floods and mud slides", the center said.
The hurricane appeared headed to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula by Sunday, and possibly northwest toward Texas in the coming week.
Lesser accumulations were expected across the Netherlands Antilles and Hispaniola.
Cuba would likely be bypassed this week because Emily is moving on a more southern route than did Dennis, which caused extensive damage to the Caribbean island last week.
Storm watches were in place for parts of the northern coast of Venezuela, for Curacao and Aruba.
This year marks the first time since records were kept that there have been five named storms this early in the season. Last year's hurricane season was one of the worst on record in terms of destruction, blowing four devastating storms through the Caribbean and across Florida.© dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur
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