Caribbean tropical disturbance shutters schools, businesses

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The government of Venezuela shuttered schools, opened shelters and restricted air and water transportation on Wednesday as a tropical disturbance sped through the southern Caribbean on a path to Central America.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the South American country already has been struggling with recent heavy rains.

“Care, caution, preparation, nerves of steel!” he said during a televised press conference as he ordered authorities to protect people.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The government of Venezuela shuttered schools, opened shelters and restricted air and water transportation on Wednesday as a tropical disturbance sped through the southern Caribbean on a path to Central America.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said the South American country already has been struggling with recent heavy rains.

“Care, caution, preparation, nerves of steel!” he said during a televised press conference as he ordered authorities to protect people.

Meanwhile, the government in the nearby Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao imposed a curfew that began late Wednesday morning, and ordered all businesses to close.

The disturbance earlier affected Trinidad & Tobago, where officials said the storms caused power outages and temporarily shut down wastewater plants, although no serious damage was reported.

The disturbance was entered about 130 miles (210 kilometers) east-southeast of Curacao late Wednesday morning. It had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and was moving west at 24 mph (39 kph). It was expected to become a tropical storm in its approach to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, though forecasters said its rapid pace and interaction with land might slow development.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba as well as the coast of Venezuela from the Paraguana peninsula past the border with Colombia to the town of Santa Marta.

Up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain were forecast for Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and northeast Venezuela.

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