(September 7, noon EDT) -- Hurricane Ike battered the Turks and Caicos Islands early this morning and is expected to soak parts of Cuba and the Bahamas en route to the Cayman Islands.
The hurricane, with winds of 135 miles per hour, has been described by the National Hurricane Center as an "extremely dangerous hurricane."
It is due to reach the southeastern Bahamas today and eastern Cuba tonight. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Cayman Islands, which means tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 36 hours.
As well as the Caribbean, the Florida Keys are also on alert for Ike, which could hit the region next week -- visitors and residents have been advised to pack up and leave.
So far, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Carnival have altered itineraries to avoid Ike. See the latest changes here.
We'll keep you posted.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor