Bermuda is bracing for category 4 hurricane Nicole as it prepares to pummel the British territory with a maximum wind speed of 130 mph (215 kph).
The US National Hurricane Center in Miami said that storm is heading towards the tiny island in the northern Atlantic Ocean and is likely to hit Bermuda directly on Thursday.
On 13 October, Nicole was located about 180 miles (290 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda, the agency said.
While Bermuda is accustomed to strong hurricanes and has strong infrastructure to withstand the onslaught of winds, the government has issued warning and asked people to remained indoors and secure property, the Associated Press reported. The Hurricane Center also urged islanders to finish hurricane preparations as fast as possible.
Torrential rain and heavy wind began battering Bermuda from late Wednesday and officials said it is going to get only worse. Heavy rainfall is also forecast with 4 to 8 inches of rain expected through Thursday, reported Weather.com.
"We have a long night in front of us. We better be prepared for the onslaught of hurricane force winds, but if we heed the warnings, we will be in a strong position once the storm blows through," said Premier Michael Dunkley, as reported by the news agency.
Schools and offices were shut down earlier on Wednesday and people were seen stocking up on daily supplies. Gas stations and local shops did a brisk business and people rushed to buy batteries, matches, ready cooked meals and fuel.
"Whatever happens, people are not going to go hungry," said Byron Trott, a resident, to AP.
Several airlines like American Airlines and Air Canada cancelled many flights to the island due to extreme weather conditions. Cruise ships were also asked to stay out of the waterways.
According to AP, authorities have ordered a search operation after a surfer, identified as Gabriel Pantoja (37) went missing in Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
It is a developing story