Image: National Hurricane Center. Laura is headed for Texas and Louisiana.

(BBC)–Marco and Laura brought high winds and rough seas to the Caribbean, leaving at least 20 people dead, including a baby and an eight-year-old child in Haiti.

Heavy rains have also battered parts of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the US territory of Puerto Rico. President Trump declared a state of disaster in the territory on Saturday.

Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in the coastal US states of Texas and Louisiana as Hurricane Laura barrels towards them.

The storm is expected to move through the Gulf of Mexico, hitting both states tonight.

The hurricane lands just after another storm, Marco, struck Louisiana on Monday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.

Both have already lashed the Caribbean, destroying homes and killing at least 20 people.

US President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for Louisiana, ordering federal assistance to co-ordinate relief efforts. Texas has also declared a state of emergency for more than 30 coastal counties or counties in the likely path of the storm.

More than 385,000 residents were ordered to leave the Texas cities of Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur, while an additional 200,000 were told to evacuate Calcasieu Parish in south-western Louisiana.

Port Arthur, Texas, is home to the nation’s largest oil refinery, and workers have been taken off of at least 281 offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said on Monday.

Initially, both storms Marco and Laura were forecast to hit Louisiana as hurricanes within 48 hours of each other – raising concerns, particularly as it would have been the first time in recorded history that the state had been hit by two back-to-back hurricanes.

Now only Laura is expected to make landfall as a hurricane, as Marco has been downgraded to a tropical storm.

The US National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) changed forecast has bought more time for residents along Louisiana’s coast to prepare.

Marco and Laura brought high winds and rough seas to the Caribbean, leaving at least 20 people dead, including a baby and an eight-year-old child in Haiti.

Heavy rains have also battered parts of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the US territory of Puerto Rico. President Trump declared a state of disaster in the territory on Saturday.

In Cuba, authorities have evacuated at least 160,000 people from several coastal regions, while thousands have been evacuated in the Dominican Republic.

Meanwhile in Jamaica, there were reports of landslides and flooded roads.