The Latest: Cargo ship missing as Joaquin slams Bahamas

MIAMI (AP) – The latest on Joaquin and the storm’s predicted path. All times local:

2:50 p.m.

Hurricane Joaquin (wa-KEEN) is battering the Bahamas and moving northward.

Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Joaquin is an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, and hurricane conditions will continue over the Bahamas on Friday as the storm passes.

On Friday afternoon, Joaquin had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph). The storm is about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north of Rum Cay, Bahamas. It’s moving north at 5 mph (8 kph).

A hurricane warning is in effect for much of the Bahamas and other islands. A tropical storm warning is in effect elsewhere, including some Cuban provinces.

Forecasters say slow weakening of the storm is expected to begin Saturday.

Earlier models showed the U.S. could possibly get a direct hit from the storm in the coming days, but the latest predictions show Joaquin offshore.

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12:01 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a cargo ship with 33 people aboard that went missing as Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin hit the Bahamas.

Officials said Friday that the 735-foot (224-meter) ship named El Faro was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida. They said they received notification that the ship had lost propulsion and was listing at 15 degrees near Crooked Island in the eastern Bahamas.

The Coast Guard said the crew told officials that the ship had taken on water but that they eventually contained the flooding.

Officials said rescue crews had not been able to re-establish communications with the crew on Thursday or Friday.

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11 a.m.

Hurricane Joaquin (wa-KEEN) is battering the central Bahamas and moving northward.

Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center in Miami say Joaquin is an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, and hurricane conditions will continue over the Bahamas on Friday as the storm passes.

Late Friday morning, Joaquin had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph). The storm is about 5 miles (10 kilometers) south of Rum Cay, Bahamas. It’s moving north at 3 mph (6 kph).

A hurricane warning is in effect for much of the Bahamas and other islands. A tropical storm warning is in effect elsewhere, including some Cuban provinces.

Forecasters say slow weakening of the storm is expected to begin Saturday.

Earlier models showed the U.S. could possibly get a direct hit from the storm in the coming days, but the latest predictions show Joaquin offshore.

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5:45 a.m.

Hurricane Joaquin (wa-KEEN) is moving slowly northwestward as it batters the central Bahamas.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds early Friday are near 130 mph (215 kph), making it a dangerous Category 4 hurricane.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says some fluctuations in strength are possible during the day with slow weakening expected to begin Saturday.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 20 miles (35 kilometers) northeast of Clarence Long Island in the Bahamas and is moving northwest near 3 mph (6 kph).

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11 p.m.

Hurricane Joaquin is lingering over the Central Bahamas, and the dangerous Category 4 storm is expected to affect the islands through early Friday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Thursday that Joaquin was centered about 20 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas, and about 75 miles (120 kilometers) south of San Salvador, Bahamas.

Its maximum sustained winds were 130 mph (215 kph) and the storm was creeping to the west at 3 mph (6 kph). A turn toward the north is expected Friday.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Central Bahamas, Northwestern Bahamas, and Southeastern Bahamas. A hurricane watch is in effect for Bimini and Andros Island.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Los Tunas, Holguin, and Guantanamo.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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