TROPICAL Storm Earl is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall, probably in Belize, forecasters said on Wednesday.
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said that Earl was threatening to bring heavy rains, flooding and high winds to Mexico, Belize and Honduras, and was likely to blow past Honduras' Roatan Island, a popular tourist destination, on Wednesday afternoon.
All three of those countries issued tropical storm warnings for some areas, and a hurricane warning was issued for part of Mexico.
On Sunday, Earl was a weaker tropical wave but knocked down power lines and started a fire that killed six passengers on a bus in the Dominican Republic.
On Wednesday morning, the storm was centred about 120 miles east of Roatan, with maximum sustained winds near 65mph and was moving west near 14mph.