Almost a dozen people have been reported dead as Tropical Storm Laura makes its way across the Caribbean, bringing with it heavy rainfall and gusty winds.
The storm’s center is stationed south of Cuba with sustained winds of 100kmp reported today, August 24.
Reports are that at least 11 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti have been killed with thousands left without power.
Among the dead is a 10-year-old girl who died after a tree fell on her home, and a mother and her young son who were killed when a wall collapsed on them.
Laura is not expected to weaken as it moves across Cuba and could become a Category 3 hurricane as it makes its way over the warm waters of the US Gulf Coast.
Meteorologist Benjamin Schott at the National Weather Service in Louisiana said, “There is definitely a possibility that it could be a little bit stronger and be a Category 3.”
It puts the US Gulf in a terrible position as Tropical Storm Marco, which lost hurricane status as it became less organised, is already affecting the region. The presence of the two storms at the same time would be a first for the region, bringing strong winds and flooding along the coast.
States of emergency have been declared for Louisiana and Mississippi and shelters opened to accommodate evacuees.