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This message is being issued to inform U.S. citizens residing in and traveling to Bermuda that the National Hurricane Center (NHC), www.nhc.noaa.gov  and Bermuda Weather Service, www.weather.bm  have issued a tropical storm watch for Tropical Storm Rafael, which at 8am AST was located 680 miles south of Bermuda and moving slowly toward the NNW at 9 MPH.  Nearing hurricane strength, it is expected to approach Bermuda by late Tuesday.  A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, and in this case, within the next 36 hours.

U.S. citizens should monitor the weather at the websites listed above and follow the instructions of local authorities.  For emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the U.S. Consulate , located at 16 Middle Road, Devonshire; telephone 441-295-1342; after hours emergency telephone 441-335-3828; Consular fax 441-295-1592;e-mail  HMLAMCONGEN@state.gov; web page http://Hamilton.USConsulate.gov