WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tropical storm Cristobal was headed away from the Bahamas Monday as the strengthening system pounded the Turks and Caicos Islands with heavy rainfall, forecasters said.
The storm, which had previously been on course to hit the Bahamas, was "moving erratically" towards the north-west and could turn into a hurricane as soon as Wednesday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.
The storm forecaster reported that Cristobal was packing maximum sustained winds of 95kmh as it churned some 1,150km south-west of Bermuda.
Cristobal, which authorities said had left one person missing in the Dominican Republic, was forecast "to move away from the Bahamas through Tuesday and pass west of Bermuda on Wednesday."
The government of the Bahamas had discontinued a tropical storm warning and no other watches or warnings were in effect.
"Interests in Bermuda should monitor the progress of Cristobal" the NHC said, adding that "gradual strengthening is expected over the next 48 hours."
Cristobal was likely to cause 10cm to 20cm of rain over the Turks and Caicos Islands and parts of the southeastern and central Bahamas through Tuesday, with up to 30cm in some area, the NHC said.