Wilma, the 12th hurricane of the Atlantic season, has already proved deadly and now it is at maximum strength. In the Cayman Islands, its effects have already been felt. But as it moved up towards the Gulf of Mexico today, heading for Florida, it developed into a powerful Category 5 storm, with winds of over 280 kilometres an hour.
Haiti has already paid a heavy price, with up to 10 people killed in mudslides triggered by Wilma.
In Cuba, thousands have been evacuated as weather conditions worsen.
People have also been forced to flee their homes in Jamaica, amid flooding and landslides that blocked roads and damaged homes in low-lying areas.
Wilma is also threatening Honduras and Nicaragua, compounding the woes of Central America, which is still recovering from Hurricane Stan.
Since records began, there have only been 12 hurricanes in an Atlantic season once before, back in 1969.