5 Dead On St. Lucia; Tomas 'Poses Threat' To Caribbean Nations

"(CNN)
Tropical Storm Tomas -- which killed at least five people on St. Lucia -- ""could pose a significant threat"" to Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic later this week, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday.

The death toll on St. Lucia, meanwhile, may rise, as two other people were missing, said Kirby Allain, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Organization on the island. Tomas hit St. Lucia as a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday morning and caused major damage by the time its winds subsided Monday night, he said.

The five people died in a landslide when part of a mountain crashed down, crossed a hill and smashed into the Livity Arts Studio, crushing the family that was inside, Allain said. Tourists often stopped by the studio when visiting the island, he said.

Several landslides isolated the community of Soufriere, a spot popular with tourists on the island's southwest coast, he said.

An aerial tour of the island on Monday revealed widespread damage, he said. Roads into one community were blocked, leaving the area accessible only by boat.

Tomas also caused damage on St. Vincent, where two people were injured when they attempted to fix roof damage during the storm, officials said. The storm sent some 1,000 people into shelters, said Michelle Forbes, acting director of National Emergency Management.

Since striking the islands, Tomas emerged into the Caribbean Sea and weakened into a tropical storm. However, it was expected to re-intensify, forecasters said Tuesday.

As of 11 a.m. ET, the center of Tomas was about 355 miles (570 kilometers) south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and about 420 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It was moving west at about 10 mph (17 kph) and was expected to turn west-northwest and then northwest and slow during the next 48 hours, the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center said."