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Hurricane Dennis Threatening Cuba, Now a Category 4 Storm

Hurricane Dennis has strengthened to a Category Four storm as it churns in the Caribbean on course for Cuba.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Dennis, which has already lashed Jamaica and Haiti with heavy rains, is now packing sustained winds reaching 215 kilometers per hour.

Officials expect the storm to make landfall in Cuba later Friday and warnings are in effect for much of the island nation. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying areas.

Hurricane warnings are also in effect for parts of the Florida Keys where residents and tourists have also been evacuated ahead of the storm

Authorities in Haiti say the storm was responsible for at least one death when it passed near that island nation Thursday.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.