Bermuda residents rushed to stock up on supplies preparing for Igor's approach across the Atlantic [Reuters]

Residents of Bermuda have boarded up windows and stocked up on supplies as Hurricane Igor barrels across the Atlantic, threatening to bear down on the tiny island.

Igor, a Category 2 storm on the five point Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, was "expected to remain a dangerous hurricane" as it approached Bermuda, the US National Hurricane Centre said in its 03>00 GMT bulletin on Sunday.

Igor was located about 460km south of the tiny British overseas territory late on Saturday.

US forecasters said Igor was on a path to reach Bermuda late on Sunday or early Monday, but hurricane weather was expected already on Sunday afternoon.

Forecasters said Igor is expected to produce a dangerous storm surge with as much as 22cm of rain and large, destructive waves and flooding in coastal areas.

'Continue to pray'

Ewart Brown, the prime minister of Bermuda, on Saturday said people were scared and will continue to pray as Igor heads toward the island, packing fierce winds and lashing rain.

He warned residents to prepare for "one of the worst hurricanes to ever threaten our shores", and urged them to "continue to pray that once again we will be spared".

"Our country and our people have throughout our history rarely faced the full fury of a storm of this magnitude," Brown said in the capital, Hamilton, after moving from his waterfront residence.

"It's being referred to as a killer storm, a monster storm, and although sometimes we realise that some of this might be done for television or radio value, we take it seriously."

The rocky island, a tiny British overseas territory that is a hub for the global insurance industry, is one of the world's most isolated yet densely populated islands.

The Bermuda government's emergency agency has warned residents to prepare for a similar impact from Igor as the island experienced from the 2003 Hurricane Fabian, which killed four people and caused millions of dollars of damage.

Igor is one of several storms that have formed in the Atlantic this hurricane season.

The last time so many major storms churned in the Atlantic basin at the same time was in September 1998, when there were four hurricanes, including Georges, which killed more than 600 people and caused nearly $6bn in damage.

Source: Agencies