Tropical Storm Karen was expected to pass near or over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday afternoon, bringing heavy winds, torrential rainfall, flash flooding and mudslides just hours after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the region.
As of 11 a.m., the center of the storm was located about 60 miles south of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital and largest city, and was packing 40 mph winds and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory. Millions of people in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands were told to prepare for tropical storm conditions and consider evacuating dangerous zones.
Karen is the second threat the region has faced in the past 24 hours. An earthquake struck about 50 miles off the northwest coast of Puerto Rico late Monday night and has caused at least 34 aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The earthquake scared many Puerto Ricans from their sleep, but there was no immediate reports of damage or risk of tsunami.
The U.S. territory has been on high alert this hurricane season as several storms have moved dangerously close to the island. This month marks two years since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, killing about 3,000 people and destroying much of the island’s infrastructure.
...CENTER OF KAREN APPROACHING PUERTO RICO AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS... A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... *...
The hurricane center said Karen could also bring up to 8 inches of rain to parts of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Tuesday. The storm was moving northwest at 8 mph and could strengthen as it moves though the region over the next couple of days, but a potential impact to the U.S. east coast was not immediately clear.
The agency is tracking two other tropical storms, including Jerry, which is expected to bring heavy rain and dangerous winds to Bermuda by Wednesday morning.
Tropical Storm Lorenzo, meanwhile, was still hundreds of miles east of the Caribbean sea, but officials said the system would likely become a major hurricane by Thursday as it moves northwest.