Gustav Kills 22; US Gulf Coast Prepares

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Gustav swirled toward Cuba today after triggering flooding and landslides that killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean. Its track pointed toward the U.S. Gulf coast, including Louisiana where Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc three years ago.

Oil prices jumped above US$119 a barrel as workers began to evacuate from the offshore rigs responsible for a quarter of U.S. crude production and much of America's natural gas.

Forecasters say they know its going to head into the Gulf. After that they are not sure where its heading.

On Wednesday, Gustav was moving off of Haiti's southwestern peninsula into the waters between Cuba and Jamaica.

Gustav diminished to a tropical storm over Haiti but still had top winds of 60 mph and was dumping 12 inches or more of rain over the Caribbean. The storm was centered about 90 miles south-southeast of Guantanamo, heading west-northwest at 5 mph, and forecasters said it could soon regain hurricane strength.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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