MIAMI - Hurricane Irene has formed and is moving over Puerto Rico with its projected path expected to take it toward the U.S. East Coast later this week.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Monday that Irene has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). It's centered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is moving west-northwest near 12 mph (19 kph).
The strengthening storm is next headed for Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Nearly 600,000 people in Haiti still live without shelter after last year's earthquake.
In the U.S., Irene is expected to affect Florida and could clip Georgia and the Carolinas.
Irene is the first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season.