Tropical Storm Matthew has strengthened into a hurricane as the storm continues its westward trek across the eastern Caribbean.
The National Hurricane Center said Matthew — previously a tropical storm — now has top sustained winds of 75 mph as of Thursday afternoon. It is moving westward at 17 mph and is centered about 190 miles northeast of the island of Curacao.
Matthew passed over the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday, causing at least one death. Officials in St. Vincent say a 16-year-old boy died there as he tried to clear a blocked drain.
The forecast continues to show Matthew moving west through Saturday before it takes a turn to the north and head toward Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. As it approaches the region on Monday, there is a potential for the winds top out at around 100 mph making it a Category 2 hurricane.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Curacao and the islands of Bonaire and Aruba. People across the three Dutch Caribbean islands were stocking up on fuel and other emergency supplies Thursday ahead of the storm.
Forecasters say it is soon to tell if it will continue up the eastern seaboard or move out to sea.AlertMe