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Ike strengthens to hurricane status

This September 2, 2008 NOAA satellite images shows a full disk Western Hemisphere view of the Earth. In this image L-R storms Gustav(over the US Gulf coast), Hanna (Over Haiti and Cuba), and Ike and Josephine can be seen churning further in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. US officials were keeping a close eye Tuesday on three tropical storms posing potential threats after deadly Hurricane Gustav battered the US Gulf Coast. A forecaster with the National Hurricane Center called the clutch of three storms marching across the Atlantic at one time "not particularly unusual." "We are at the peak of hurricane season," Jessica Schauer Clark told AFP, as the tenth tropical depression of the season picked up wind speed Tuesday and became a tropical storm dubbed Josephine. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Miami (AFP) Sept 3, 2008
Tropical Storm Ike strengthened to a Category One hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

Ike, the fifth hurricane of the 2008 Atlantic season, is still far from any of the islands east of the Caribbean like the Bahamas, according to information released by the Miami-based Hurricane Center.

"It is too early to determine what if any land areas might eventually be affected by Ike," the Hurricane Center said.

At 5 pm (2100 GMT) the center of Ike was about 1,080 kilometers (670 miles) northeast of the Leeward Islands and was moving in a west-northwest direction near 30 kilometers (18 miles) an hour.

The movement will be "taking Ike over the open waters of the west-central Atlantic during the next couple of days," the Hurricane Center said.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers (80 miles) per hour, "with higher gusts," making it a Category One hurricane, the weakest on the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale.

"Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next day or two," the Hurricane Center warned.

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Haiti blasted by third deadly tropical storm in 3 weeks
Port-Au-Prince (AFP) Sept 2, 2008
Ten people were killed as Hanna lashed the north of Haiti Tuesday, the third deadly tropical storm to unleash its wrath on the impoverished Caribbean nation in under three weeks.

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