Hurricane Maria has barrelled toward the Turks and Caicos Islands after lashing Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands with winds and rain that has destroyed homes, caused flooding and left at least 32 people dead.
Maria is the second major hurricane to hit the Caribbean this month and the strongest storm to hit the US territory of Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years.
At least 15 people were killed in Puerto Rico, El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported.
Fourteen deaths were reported on the island nation of Dominica, which has a population of about 71,000.
Two others were killed in the French territory of Guadeloupe and one on the US Virgin Islands.
The death toll in the Caribbean is likely to rise when searches resume at daybreak on Friday.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew through Saturday for the island’s 3.4 million people.
In the heart of the island’s capital, San Juan, which has a fort and buildings from the Spanish colonial era, the storm left a trail of wreckage.
Toppled trees cut power lines and streets were turned into rivers.
US President Donald Trump told reporters the island had been “totally obliterated” and he planned to visit.
Puerto Rico was already facing the largest municipal debt crisis in US history.
A team of judges overseeing its bankruptcy has advised involved parties to put legal proceedings on hold indefinitely as the island recovers, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.
Maria is a category three hurricane with sustained winds up to 205km/h.
It was 70km east-southeast of Grand Turk Island early on Friday, the US National Hurricane Center said.
It was forecast to bring storm surges of up to 3.7m to the southeastern Bahamas as well as the Turks and Caicos, it said.
Maria looked unlikely to hit the continental US but its storm swells would reach the southeastern US coast from Friday, the NHC said.