Hurricane Cristobal continued its march north across the Caribbean on Tuesday morning after dumping heavy rains on parts of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The hurricane, which formed over the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend and gained strength Monday, flooded several Caribbean communities, halted flights in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and left at least five people dead before heading north toward Bermuda, the Associated Press reported.  

In Haiti, at least two dozen homes were heavily damaged and several others were destroyed. Hundreds of Haitian families were left temporarily homeless from the storm, the Associated Press reported. Authorities evacuated some 3,600 people from coastal communities in the Dominican Republic. Two men in the Dominican Republic and two in Haiti were killed after being swept away by swollen waterways; a fifth fatality was reported in Turks and Caicos. 

Meteorologists upgraded Cristobal to a Category 1 hurricane Monday night, making it the third hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season. Maximum sustained winds reached 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service

cristobal2 Projected path of Hurricane Cristobal. Photo: US National Hurricane Center

The hurricane will reach Bermuda Wednesday before banking northeast, meteorologists report. Although Cristobal is expected to bypass the U.S. East Coast, scientists warn of high surf and coastal flooding in northeast Florida, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and southeast Virginia. Rip currents are also possible along the Eastern Seaboard through Wednesday, according to the Weather Channel

Meanwhile in the Pacific Ocean, another hurricane brought high waves to Mexico’s Pacific coast. Hurricane Marie, the strongest tropical system in the eastern Pacific in recent years, strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane on Sunday, but gradually weakened to a Category 2 storm by Tuesday morning. However, scientists warned of “life-threatening” rip conditions in southern California for Tuesday after Hurricane Marie generated swells that affected the southwestern coast of Mexico and the southern gulf of California.