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Tropical Storm Tomas continues to weaken, could approach Haiti

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Tomas' maximum sustained winds slow to 50 mph (85 kph)
  • A projection map indicates Tomas could hit Haiti later this week
  • Two people were injured on St. Vincent

Miami, Florida (CNN) -- Tomas continued to lose brawn in the Caribbean Sea on Monday morning after pummeling the island of St. Vincent over the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 5 a.m. ET Sunday, Tomas, a tropical storm with sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), was located about 135 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Curacao, according to the Hurricane Center. The storm was moving west at about 14 mph (22 kph).

Tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from the center of Tomas.

Tomas moved over the Caribbean Sea after leaving heavy rain and wind on St. Vincent. More than 1,000 people entered shelters on St. Vincent as Tomas struck the island, an emergency official said. Two people were injured, including one critically, when they tried to repair roof damage during the storm, said Michelle Forbes, acting director of National Emergency Management.

Video: Tomas now a hurricane
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Tomas also left downed trees that blocked many roads, Forbes said, and large areas of the island lacked power. More than 100 homes sustained roof damage, she said, and authorities expected the number to rise.

The main hospital on the island, Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, lost power temporarily but was able to get a generator up and running, according to Forbes.

Tomas was forecast to continue heading west over the next day or two. The Hurricane Center said restrengthening could begin by late Tuesday. A projection map shows the storm turning north later this week. Tomas could approach Haiti on Friday, possibly as a hurricane.

Tomas could deal a harsh blow to Haiti as the impoverished nation is still recovering from a devastating earthquake in January and is currently dealing with a cholera outbreak.

But "Tomas could still hit anywhere from the Dominican Republic to eastern Cuba," CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.

CNN Radio's Matt Cherry contributed to this report.

 
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