Tens of thousands of tourists and residents have been evacuated from vulnerable areas as hurricane Sandy hits south-east Cuba.
The US National Hurricane Center said Sandy has now strengthened into a category two hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 114 mph reported in Santiago de Cuba, the country's second largest city.
At least 55,000 people have been evacuated and flights to and from eastern Cuba have been cancelled.
Hoteliers in Santiago are setting up generators to provide emergency power.
Forecaster believe Sandy will cross the island within a few hours, heading north toward the Bahamas.
Yesterday, a man was killed when Sandy hit Jamaica. Jamaica's international airports were closed and cruise ships cancelled stops as Sandy, then a tropical storm, swept across the island.
British Airways was forced to cancel its flight from London to Kingston and Virgin Atlantic delayed its departure from London to Montego Bay.
Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas, the world's largest passenger ship, and three Carnival ships - the Valor, Pride and Glory- were all forced to change their itineraries to avoid the hurricane.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica, parts of Cuba, the Ragged Islands in Bahamas and the central and northwestern Bahamas.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Haiti, the east coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, Lake Okeechobee, and the remainder of the southeastern Bahamas.
By Bev Fearis, Gretchen Kelly and Linsey McNeill
Thursday, October 25, 2012