Storm Dorian barrels west, Barbados gets ready for impact
By Robert Edison Sandiford
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Dorian gathered speed on Monday as it barreled west towards Barbados, where people began preparing for the onset of heavy wind and rain, and officials advised the public to stay indoors.
The small tropical cyclone is expected to be near hurricane strength by the time it passes west of Puerto Rico around Thursday and plows into the Dominican Republic, according to projections of the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley told islanders to avoid any unnecessary risks while the storm bore down.
"Those who do not need to go on the road or do not work in areas that are essential, unless you are going to get a last-minute something to prepare yourself, there's no sense in going on the road," Mottley told local radio.
Dorian is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Windward Islands late Monday, and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday before churning towards Puerto Rico.
On Monday morning, Dorian was about 205 miles (330 km) east-southeast of Barbados, blowing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 km per hour), the NHC said.
"Dorian could be near hurricane strength on Tuesday and Wednesday while it moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea," the Miami-based NHC said in a statement.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the NHC said.
(Reporting by Robert Edison Sandiford and Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; additional reporting and writing by Rebekah F Ward in Mexico City; editing by Christian Schmollinger and Marguerita Choy)