Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Sunday, 7 September 2008 11:58 UK

Eyewitness: Waiting for Ike

Hurricane Ike has reached some parts of the Caribbean, bringing winds of 135mph (215km/h), just days after Tropical Storm Hanna caused havoc in the region.

BBC News website reader Cheryl Tull is on the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos islands. She told us about preparations for Ike's arrival.

There are 11 of us in the house. Six adults, two teenagers and three children under nine. The adults are awake but the children are asleep. We have not experienced anything like this before.

It was overcast all day on Saturday, and then around 10pm the high winds started. We lost power at around 1am but we are fully prepared. We have rechargeable flash lights and a wind-up radio, and the house is boarded up.

We are nervous and afraid - we have not experienced anything like this before

We lost contact with our radio station in Grand Turk, and right now we are now listening to the Bahamas radio station. The neighbours are also prepared.

Most of the buildings on the island have been boarded up, hurricane shelters have been provided for the people who need them, and everyone is using sandbags supplied by Disaster Management. Disaster Management has done its job. Everyone has done what they need to, to prepare for this.

I am 44 and I have never really witnessed a hurricane, this is my first

I am 44 and I have never really witnessed a hurricane, this is my first. This is a Category Four, and it's the first time I have witnessed anything of this nature.

We have been hearing that the capital has been severely damaged. The building that houses the radio station is on fire. There is so much going on. People are sheltering in their bathrooms.

The little island of Salt Cay had all or most of its residents evacuated. South Caicos is another island where much flooding and extreme winds are being reported.

It's almost here now and we are bracing ourselves as Ike moves down through the islands. Providenciales is the last island. We won't know how bad the damage is until Monday when we go back out on to the streets. We're bracing ourselves.

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