Miami (AFP) - Strengthening Hurricane Cristobal killed at least four people in the Caribbean and then trained its deadly sights Tuesday on the holiday paradise of Bermuda, officials and meteorologists said.
The storm dumped torrential rain on the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Dominican Republic, triggering flooding and killing four people, authorities there said.
Cristobal was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles (120 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest forecast, at 2100 GMT.
It was moving north towards Bermuda at 10 miles per hour, the NHC said, warning its impact was also being felt in the United States.
"The center of Cristobal is expected to pass northwest of Bermuda on Wednesday and Wednesday night," the NHC said.
It added: "Swells generated by Cristobal are affecting portions of the United States coast from central Florida northward to North Carolina and will spread northwards later this week."
A tropical storm watch was already in effect for Bermuda, forecasters said, meaning inclement conditions were possible in the next 24 hours.
Cristobal, a category one hurricane, is the third hurricane of the Atlantic storm season.
It comes hot on the heels of Hurricane Marie, which briefly reached the highest possible category five destructive power but was weakening in the Pacific off Mexico.
Marie's crashing waves over the weekend caused a fishing vessel to capsize, with three of its occupants still missing and presumed dead.