Hurricane Nicole bears down on Bermuda as a Category 2 storm

Hurricane Nicole is seen in the Atlantic Ocean in this satellite image taken on Oct 11, 2016.
Hurricane Nicole is seen in the Atlantic Ocean in this satellite image taken on Oct 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI (AFP) - Hurricane Nicole barrelled towards Bermuda on Wednesday (Oct 12) as a Category 2 storm, just days after Matthew killed hundreds in the Caribbean, mostly in Haiti.

Packing 155 kmh winds, Nicole was 520km south-west of Bermuda at 12pm GMT.

The storm was heading northwest at about 11km per hour in the Atlantic, and is expected on or near the British island territory within the next 24 hours.

"Hurricane conditions are expected to begin on Bermuda Thursday morning, with tropical storm conditions expected to begin by later today or tonight," the NHC said in one of its Wednesday updates.

"A dangerous storm surge is expected to produce coastal flooding in Bermuda. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive winds," said the NHC, adding that rainfall of up to 20cm is anticipated.

Nicole already has disrupted the next US cargo supply trip to the International Space Station. Initially set for Thursday, the launch now has been delayed until Sunday, Nasa officials said.

Last week another hurricane, Matthew, strafed the Caribbean and US east coast, hitting Haiti as a Category 4 storm.

Impoverished Haiti, with 473 known dead, continues to struggle from the after-effects of Matthew, with thousands still in shelters and health officials warning about the possible spread of cholera.