A storm currently hitting the northeast Caribbean and moving towards the US has now strengthened into a major category four hurricane – one short of the most powerful.
The US Virgin Islands have already tasted the full force of Earl, which is estimated to be sustaining winds of nearly 200 kilometres per hour.
The second significant storm of this year’s Atlantic season, it is still unclear whether it will turn into a category five.
Currently, buffeting the Caribbean the US national Hurricane center says Earl is moving west-north west and curving towards the US state of North Carolina.
Weather warnings were also in place on the Puerto Rican Islands as fierce winds, driving rain and pounding waves moved in.