8 years ago1.3K views
Hurricane Earl battered tiny islands across the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and roof-ripping winds, rapidly intensifying into a major Category 4 storm on a path projected to menace the United States.
Already dangerous with sustained winds of 135 miles per hour, Earl is expected to gain more strength before potentially brushing the US East Coast this week and bringing deadly rip currents.
The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami warned coastal residents from North Carolina to Maine to watch the storm closely.
In the Caribbean, Earl caused flooding in low-lying areas and damaged homes on islands including Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla and St. Maarten.
Several countries and territories reported power outages. Cruise ships were diverted and flights cancelled across the region. The storm's centre passed just north of the British Virgin Islands.
It is gradually moving away from the Caribbean and is forecast to approach the US Mid-Atlantic region around Thursday, before curving back out to sea, potentially swiping New England or far-eastern Canada.
The rapid development of Earl, which only became a hurricane on Sunday, took some islanders and tourists by surprise.