Tropical storm Fiona strengthens and hurricane warnings issued

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By AP
Satellite footage of Tropical storm Fiona
Satellite footage of Tropical storm Fiona   -   Copyright  AP/AP   -  

Tropical storm Fiona has strengthened and is now heading towards the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico where hurricane warnings are in place.

It is threatening to dump up to 41 cm of rain on parts of Puerto Rico and where locals are bracing for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages.

Authorities opened shelters and closed public beaches, theatres and museums as they urged people to remain indoors.

Fiona is expected to swipe past the Dominican Republic on Sunday as a potential hurricane and Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Monday and Tuesday with the threat of extreme rain.

On Friday it swept across Guadeloupe killing a man who was dragged away with his house by the torrents when a nearby river flooded. The island was placed on red alert for heavy rains and storms and its residents were prepared.

Schools were closed as the island experienced 120 km/hour winds and 23 cm of rain in only three hours.

So far this cyclonic season, seven named storms have formed in the Atlantic basin, two of which, Danielle and Earl, have reached hurricane status.