Tropical Storm Earl Forms in the Caribbean after 6 die in Dominican Republic

MIAMI, Aug. 2 (UPI) — A weather disturbance in the Caribbean was upgraded to Tropical Storm Earl on Tuesday after its killed six people and caused destruction in the Dominican Republic.

Earl was 215 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman and about 535 miles east of Belize City, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported in an advisory Tuesday afternoon. It was moving at 22 mph with top sustained winds of 45 mph.

The governments of Mexico and Belize have issued a tropical storm warning for the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula from Punta Allen, Mexico, southward to the Belize/Guatemala border.

The storm struck the Dominican Republic on Sunday, knocking down power lines and starting a fire that killed six passengers on a bus returning from a beach excursion.

Earl is projected to move close to the north coast of Honduras late Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach Belize and the Yucatan peninsula late Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The chance of impact on the United States appears low, with the exception of possible showers in parts of the Texas coast, the Weather Channel predicted.

Earl was named late Tuesday morning after a Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance mission found that a low pressure area had formed.

The name Earl debuted among Atlantic storm systems in 1980 and was then used again in 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010, the Weather Channel reported.

Earl is the fifth tropical storm this season.

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