Tropical Storm Chantal is threatening to turn into a hurricane, as it churns toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Tropical Storm Chantal coordinates (National Hurricane Center)

Authorities there and in Puerto Rico are warning of possible landslides and heavy flooding.

At last word, the storm was about 270 miles southeast of Puerto Rico, with top sustained winds of 65 miles an hour. It's moving to the west-northwest at about 26 miles an hour.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for the Dominican Republic's southern coast. The storm is expected to be near or over that country by tomorrow afternoon. It's expected to be over parts of the Bahamas on Thursday.

Officials in the Dominican Republic have urged those living in low-lying areas to leave, but few are doing so. The leader of an impoverished community in Santo Domingo says, "We're sure nothing is going to happen." He adds, "We can't just go and leave behind our belongings."

Officials in Haiti are encountering similar resistance, despite repeated radio warnings.


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