Caribbean braced for Hurricane Earl

A number of flights have been cancelled and cruise ships diverted as the Caribbean braces itself for Hurricane Earl.

Some islands have already been hit by winds of up to 135mph as the hurricane warning has been raised to a Category Four.

By last night, Earl was 100 miles away from the Virgin Islands.

Residents have been forced to take refuge in emergency shelters as it approaches, but there have been no reported casualties.

Caribbean airline LIAT cancelled 41 flights to destinations in the eastern Caribbean and closed its reservation service because of Earl’s approach.


Forecasters warn Earl could cause “catastrophic” damage if it hits land. They predict it is on course for the east coast of America.

Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed large part of New Orleans five years ago, reached category five.

“Hurricane conditions are now spreading into the Northern Leeward Islands and will spread westward into the Virgin Islands later today,” the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest statement.

“Earl is expected to become a major hurricane by tonight or early Tuesday,” it added.

The hurricane centre also warned of a storm surge, dangerous waves and heavy rains that could cause flash flooding and mudslides.

Forecasters said Earl could affect the U.S. East Coast later this week.