SAN JUAN-Hurricane Fiona continued its slow and devastating march northward after slamming the Turks and Caicos Islands on Wednesday and leaving a trail of destruction in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Wednesday morning that the storm had grown stronger, registering maximum wind speeds of 130 miles per hour (210 kilometers per hour) as it barreled toward Bermuda.

The NHC said Fiona was 105 miles (170 kilometers) north of Turks and Caicos and had been upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane, the second highest level on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

“Swells from Fiona are expected to reach Bermuda by early Thursday. The swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the NHC said in its latest advisory.

At least five people have died as the storm churned across the Caribbean -- one in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe and two each in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

“Hurricane Fiona has proven to be an unpredictable storm,” Anya Williams, the deputy governor of Turks and Caicos, said in a broadcast.

Williams said no casualties or serious injuries had been reported in Turks and Caicos, but she urged residents to continue to shelter in place. Blackouts were reported on Grand Turk and several other islands in the archipelago and 165 people were admitted to shelters, she said, adding that Britain’s Royal Navy and the US Coast Guard are standing by to provide assistance.

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader has declared three eastern provinces to be disaster zones: La Altagracia -- home to the popular resort of Punta Cana -- El Seibo and Hato Mayor.

Authorities said Tuesday that more than 10,000 people had been moved to “safe areas,” while about 400,000 are without electricity. Footage from local media showed residents of the east coast town of Higuey waist-deep in water trying to salvage personal belongings.

“It came through at high speed,” Vicente Lopez told AFP in Punta Cana, bemoaning the destroyed businesses in the area.