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Hurricane Emily pounds Grenada

People ordered off streets and businesses closed as the fifth storm of the Atlantic season reaches tiny island.

Hurricane Emily pounded the Caribbean island of Grenada early Thursday with sustained winds of 145 kilometres an hour.

There have been no reports so far on casualties or damage.

Late Wednesday, people were ordered off the streets and businesses closed as the fifth storm of the Atlantic season took aim at the tiny island.

The centre of Emily, which strengthened into a hurricane late Wednesday, is churning up waters about 70 kilometres northwest of Grenada.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm will likely strengthen during the next 24 hours.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the northern coast of Venezuela, including the capital, Caracas.

The islands of neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines are also being warned to expect strong winds and rain, while Trinidad and Tobago escaped storm warnings.

Forecasters believe the slow-moving storm will continue up the coast of Venezuela and Colombia Thursday and Friday, strike Jamaica on Satuday and head toward Mexico's Yucatan peninsula by Monday.

Grenada was hit hard by hurricane Ivan last September, killing at least 39 people.

Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said the government would not be caught unprepared for Emily.

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