Hurricane Earl is heading for landfall in the Caribbean nation of Belize, felling trees and power lines as it heads westwards, BBC reports.
About 400 people have been evacuated from Belize’s northern islands as the country is battered by storm winds.
Heavy rains from the storm also fell on Honduras and led to hundreds of people taking cover on the Caribbean coast.
The US National Hurricane Center said Earl was blowing at speeds of up to 121km/h (75mph).
Residents of Belize City and other coastal communities are being urged by the authorities to move inland and take advantage of higher ground or a network of storm shelters.
Officials have ordered the closure of the city’s international airport while archaeological reserves and national parks were also shut.