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MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Emily formed over the Caribbean on Monday, far from energy production facilities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico but posing a possible threat to them nonetheless.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Emily, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was packing maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour as it formed near the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles islands.

It was located about 50 miles west-southwest of Dominica on Monday evening and on a track across the northeastern Caribbean to bear down on Hispaniola, the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, on Tuesday night, the hurricane center said.

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