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Tropical Storm Chantal weakens near Haiti

Source: Reuters - Wed, 10 Jul 2013 16:00 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Updates with storm's location, details)

MIAMI, July 10 (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Chantal weakened considerably as it moved south of Haiti on Wednesday and the cyclone appeared to be falling apart, U.S. forecasters said.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the projected path of the storm shifted, with Chantal forecast to veer westward and avoid passing over Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), Chantal was located about 145 miles (235 km) south of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and moving west at 29 miles per hour (46 kph), with top sustained winds of about 45 mph (75 kph).

Chantal, the third named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, never posed a threat to U.S. oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters said the storm was expected to be downgraded from a tropical storm by early Thursday. It is forecast to move between Jamaica and Haiti on Wednesday and then cut across central Cuba as a tropical depression.

Tropical storm warnings were still in effect on Wednesday for the Dominican Republic and Haiti and also for Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas. (Reporting by Tom Brown and Kevin Gray; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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