Trop. Storm Earl to Become Hurricane

Trop. Storm Earl to Become Hurricane

MIAMI (AP) -- Forecasters say Tropical Storm Earl is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Wednesday that Earl was threatening to bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico, Belize and Honduras. All three of those countries issued tropical storm warnings for some areas, and a hurricane warning was issued for part of Mexico.

On Sunday, Earl was a weaker tropical wave but knocked down power lines and started a fire that killed six passengers on a bus in the Dominican Republic.

Early Wednesday, the storm was centered about 315 miles (505 kilometers) east-southeast of Belize City, Belize. Its maximum sustained winds increased to near 65 mph (100 kph) and was moving west near 14 mph (23 kph).