West Africa's Cape Verde islands escape major damage from 1st hurricane

Authorities in Cape Verde say the first hurricane to pass over the West African islands caused flooding, uprooted trees and tore off some roofs but caused no major damage or injuries.

Arlindo Lima, head of the country's Civil Protection Service, told Portuguese radio RDP-Africa on Tuesday that Hurricane Fred lashed the former Portuguese colony with high winds, knocking out power in some areas of the 10-island archipelago, while heavy rain forced the closure of some roads. Authorities closed ports and airports as Fred approached Monday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami later downgraded Fred — the easternmost hurricane known to have formed in the Atlantic tropics — to a tropical storm.

Cape Verde, about 570 kilometers (350 miles) off West Africa's coast, has a population of around 512,000.