Hurricane Fiona will pass by Bermuda on its way to Canada

Hurricane Fiona will pass by Bermuda on its way to Canada

CAGUAS, Puerto Rico (AP) – Fiona, a Category 3 hurricane, pummeled Bermuda with heavy rain and strong winds Friday as it swept across the island on a path that was forecast to approach northeastern Canada late in the day as a storm. still-powerful.

Authorities in Bermuda opened shelters and closed schools and offices before Fiona. Michael Weeks, the national security minister, said there were no reports of major damage. He urged citizens to stay indoors and off the roads, saying: ”We’re not out of the woods yet.”

The Canadian Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane watch for much of the coast of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The US National Hurricane Center said Fiona should make landfall as a “large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane force winds.”

“It certainly could be one of the more intense systems to hit eastern Canada,” said Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist for the Canadian Hurricane Center in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Hubbard said the center of the storm is expected to arrive Saturday morning sometime between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. locally, but winds and rain will arrive late Friday.

Authorities in Nova Scotia sent an emergency alert to phones warning of Fiona’s arrival and urging people to stay indoors, avoid coastlines, charge devices and have enough supplies for at least 72 hours. Officials warned of prolonged power outages, wind damage to trees and structures and possible coastal flooding and road washouts

The US center said Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph) on Friday. It was centered about 250 miles (405 kilometers) north of Bermuda, moving northeast at 35 mph (56 kph).

Hurricane force winds extended out up to 115 miles (185 kilometers) from the center and tropical storm force winds extended out up to 345 miles (555 kilometers).

Hurricane warning in effect for Nova Scotia from Hubbards to Brule; Prince Edward Island; Isle-de-la-Madeleine; and Newfoundland from Parson’s Pond to Francois.

Fiona has so far been blamed for at least five deaths – two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one on the French island of Guadeloupe.

Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because when the storms reach colder waters, they lose their main source of energy. and being extratropical. But those cyclones can still have hurricane force winds, but with a cold instead of a warm core and no visible eye. Their shape may also be different. They lose their symmetrical form and become more like a comma.

Bob Robichaud, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Centre, told a news conference that modeling projected an “all-time” low pressure across the region, which would bring a storm surge and rain of between 10 and 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches ).

Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said officials were preparing shelters for people to go into before the storm arrived.

“We’ve been through these types of events before, but I’m afraid, not until now,” she said. “The impacts are going to be big, real and immediate.”

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said a tropical depression in the southern Caribbean is expected to hit Cuba early Tuesday as a hurricane and then hit southern Florida early Wednesday.

It was located approximately 615 miles (985 kilometers) east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. It had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and was moving at 13 mph (20 kph).

Before reaching Bermuda, Fiona caused severe flooding and devastation in Puerto Rico, prompting US President Joe Biden to say Thursday that the full force of the federal government is ready to help recover the US territory.

Biden noted that hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground in Puerto Rico, where Fiona caused an island-wide blackout.

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico activated the National Guard to help distribute diesel fuel to hospitals and supermarkets. The force is also supplying generators used to operate potable water plants and telecom towers.

More than 60% of power customers remained without energy Thursday, although efforts were underway to restore power. Many customers were without water, and local officials said they could not say when service would be fully restored.

As of Friday, hundreds of people in Puerto Rico remained isolated by blocked roads five days after the hurricane entered the island.

At least five landslides covered the narrow road to her community in the steep mountains surrounding the northern town of Caguas. The only way to reach the settlement is to climb over thick mounds of mud, rock and debris left by Fiona, whose flood waters are shaking the foundations of nearby houses with the force of an earthquake.

At least eight of the 11 communities in Caguas were completely isolated, said Luis González, municipal inspector of recovery and reconstruction.

It was one of at least six municipalities where crews had yet to reach some areas. People there often rely on help from neighbors, as they did after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm in 2017 that killed nearly 3,000 people.

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Associated Press writers Rob Gillies in Toronto and Maricarmen Rivera Sánchez in San Juan, Puerto Rico contributed.

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