Hurricane Fiona bears down on Canada after brushing Bermuda
24 Sep 2022 12:58pm
Hurricane Fiona advances toward Canada’s Maritime provinces from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-East weather satellite - Photo from NOAA via Reuters
The US National Hurricane Centre said Fiona was packing sustained winds of near 125 miles (205 kilometres) an hour and was "expected to be a powerful hurricane-force cyclone" when it makes landfall overnight into Saturday.
"It is certainly going to be a historic, extreme event for Eastern Canada.
"It's a major hurricane. All that momentum is trapped within the storm so it's very difficult for something like that to actually wind down," meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Centre Bob Robichaud told reporters.
Authorities in Nova Scotia issued an emergency alert on phones, saying power outages were likely and people should stay inside with enough supplies for at least 72 hours.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the storm "a bad one" adding it "could have significant impacts right across the region."
In Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, stores sold out of propane gas cylinders for camping stoves as residents stocked up.
"Hopefully it will slow up when it hits the cooler water but it doesn't sound like it's going to," Dave Buis of the Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney, Novia Scotia told Canadian television.
Bermuda had earlier called on residents to remain inside as strong winds raked over the British territory but no fatalities or major damage were reported as Fiona passed roughly 100 miles to the west of the island.
The Belco power company said 15,000 out of 36,000 households were without power on Friday evening with electricity being rapidly returned to many areas.
The Royal Bermuda Regiment said it was waiting for winds to die down before clearing roads. Residents posted images of downed power lines and some flooding on social media.
"We had some minor damage to the premises but nothing serious," the owner of a souvenir shop in the capital Hamilton Jason Rainer told AFP saying some doors and windows had been blown out.
Store owners had covered windows with metal and wood sheets.
The island of about 64,000 people is no stranger to hurricanes - but it was also tiny, just 21 square miles (54 square kilometres) and one of the most remote places in the world, 640 miles from its closest neighbour, the United States.
Bermuda, whose economy was fueled by international finance and tourism was wealthy compared to most Caribbean countries and structures must be built to strict planning codes to withstand storms. Some had done so for centuries.
Fiona killed four people in Puerto Rico earlier this week, according to US media while one death was reported in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe and another in the Dominican Republic.
President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, a US territory that was still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria five years ago.
In the Dominican Republic, President Luis Abinader declared three eastern provinces to be disaster zones. - AFP
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