As Haiti reeled from a devastating earthquake on Saturday morning, the threat of another natural disaster loomed over the island. Tropical Storm Grace, which formed in the eastern Caribbean the same morning, was on a path toward Haiti, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm was projected to pass near Haiti sometime on Monday or Tuesday, the center said, but it was possible the storm would spare the island just as officials ramp up recovery efforts.
“The current forecast has the center of the storm moving across Puerto Rico and into the Dominican Republic,” said Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the center. “Whether or not it crosses over Haiti is still up in the air.”
If Grace does reach Haiti, Mr. Berg said, heavy winds and rainfall could be expected in the northern part of the country. He also said the earthquake could increase the chance of mudslides.
“It could have shifted some of the ground and soil, which could make mudslides more common,” he said.
The center said that people on the island should monitor the path of Grace, and that tropical storm warnings for Haiti and other nearby islands “will likely be required” later on Saturday.
The center issued a tropical storm watch for parts of the Dominican Republic on Saturday, and the watch would “likely be expanded westward to include Haiti later today and tonight,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the center.
Mr. Berg said the storm was not expected to make landfall in Haiti, which means the center of the storm wouldn’t cross over the island itself.
However, he said, “rain is centered all around the storm, so the center won’t mean a whole lot.”