MIAMI (AP) - Tomas has strengthened to become the Atlantic season's 12th hurricane, and it is expected to get even stronger as it heads near the islands of St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Saturday that Tomas had winds of 75 mph (120 kph). It was just 40 miles (65 kilometers) south-southeast of St. Lucia.
Hurricane warnings were in effect for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Martinique. Several tropical storm warnings also were in effect.
Tomas was moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph). It was expected to move into the eastern Caribbean Sea by Saturday night.