As the residents of South Carolina on the US Atlantic coast mop up after Tropical Storm Hanna, Hurricane Ike has grown into an extremely dangerous Category four on the intensity scale as it barrels westward with the Bahamas and Cuba in its path. Now the strengthening Ike is threatening the Turks and Caicos islands where people are busy building makeshift defences, boarding up shops and houses.
Many are hoarding food, stripping supermarket shelves to hunker down and take shelter where they can. Ike is now menacing Cuba with its vulnerable, crumbling colonial buildings. It’s due to hit the northern coast of the island by late Sunday or early Monday, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.
Ike is the latest weather threat to the US and the Caribbean following in the wake of Hurricane Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna. Officials in Haiti say more than 500 people were killed. Two weeks ago Tropical Storm Fay left 120 dead.