Bridgetown, Barbados - Tropical Storm Dorian churned toward Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday and was expected to be close to hurricane strength when it nears the islands on Wednesday.
In anticipation of the storm, US President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency late on Tuesday for Puerto Rico, a US territory that was devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, the White House said in a statement.
The declaration allows for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance in coordination with disaster preparedness efforts on the island.
Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez declared a state of emergency late on Monday. She said there would be about 360 shelters open across the island.
The storm was centered about 275 miles 80 (440 km) east-southeast of Puerto Rico by late on Tuesday night, carrying maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (80 kph), the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre said.