An enormous U.S. Navy hospital ship will suspend operations off the coast of Haiti's capital in advance of Tropical Storm Irene.
A Sunday statement from the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince said Navy commanders have directed the Baltimore-based crew of the USNS Comfort to seek safe haven until the storm has passed.
Irene is forecasted to strengthen into a hurricane by Monday as it nears the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
The 894-foot (272-meter) hospital ship will remain in the area while damage assessments are conducted.
It arrived in Port-au-Prince on Aug. 18 at the close of a five-month goodwill mission to several countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.