Negocios

Hurricane Fiona roars by Bermuda, on route to Canada 

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

 

CAGUAS, Puer­to Ri­co (AP) — Fiona, a Cat­e­go­ry 3 hur­ri­cane, pound­ed Bermu­da with heavy rains and winds ear­ly Fri­day as it swept by the is­land on a route fore­cast to have it ap­proach­ing north-east­ern Cana­da late in the day as a still-pow­er­ful storm.

Au­thor­i­ties in Bermu­da opened shel­ters and closed schools and of­fices ahead of Fiona. Pre­mier David Burt sent a tweet urg­ing res­i­dents to “take care of your­self and your fam­i­ly. Let’s all re­mem­ber to check on as well as look out for your se­niors, fam­i­ly and neigh­bours.”

The Cana­di­an Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre is­sued a hur­ri­cane watch over ex­ten­sive coastal ex­pans­es of No­va Sco­tia, Prince Ed­ward Is­land and New­found­land. The U.S. Na­tion­al Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter said Fiona should reach the area as a “large and pow­er­ful post-trop­i­cal cy­clone with hur­ri­cane-force winds.”

“It cer­tain­ly has the po­ten­tial to be one of the most se­vere sys­tems to have hit east­ern Cana­da,” said Ian Hub­bard, me­te­o­rol­o­gist for the Cana­di­an Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre in Dart­mouth, No­va Sco­tia.

Hub­bard said the cen­tre of the storm is ex­pect­ed to ar­rive Sat­ur­day morn­ing some­time be­tween 9 am and 10 am lo­cal­ly, but winds and rains will ar­rive late Fri­day.

Au­thor­i­ties in No­va Sco­tia sent an emer­gency alert to phones warn­ing of Fiona’s ar­rival and urg­ing peo­ple to say in­side, avoid coast­lines, charge de­vices and have enough sup­plies for at least 72 hours.

The U.S. Cen­ter said Fiona had max­i­mum sus­tained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) late Thurs­day. It was cen­tred about 125 miles (200 kilo­me­tres) north of Bermu­da, head­ing north-north­east at 25 mph (41 kph).

Hur­ri­cane-force winds ex­tend­ed out­ward up to 115 miles (185 kilo­me­tres) from the cen­tre and trop­i­cal-storm-force winds ex­tend­ed out­ward up to 275 miles (445 kilo­me­tres).

A hur­ri­cane warn­ing was 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 so far has been blamed for at least five deaths — two in Puer­to Ri­co, two in the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic and one in the French is­land of Guade­loupe.

Hur­ri­canes in Cana­da are some­what rare, in part be­cause once the storms reach cold­er wa­ters, they lose their main source of en­er­gy. and be­come ex­tra­t­rop­i­cal. But those cy­clones still can have hur­ri­cane-strength winds, though with a cold in­stead of a warm core and no vis­i­ble eye. Their shape can be dif­fer­ent, too. They lose their sym­met­ric form and can more re­sem­ble a com­ma.

Bob Ro­bichaud, Warn­ing Pre­pared­ness Me­te­o­rol­o­gist at the Cana­di­an Hur­ri­cane Cen­tre, said at a news con­fer­ence that mod­el­ling pro­ject­ed “all-time” low pres­sure across the re­gion, which would bring storm surges and rain­fall of be­tween 10 to 20 cen­time­tres (4 to 8 inch­es).

Aman­da Mc­Dougall, may­or of Cape Bre­ton Re­gion­al Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty, said of­fi­cials were prepar­ing a shel­ter for peo­ple to en­ter be­fore the storm ar­rived.

“We have been through these types of events be­fore, but my fear is, not to this ex­tent,” she said. “The im­pacts are go­ing to be large, re­al and im­me­di­ate.”

Dave Pick­les, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of No­va Sco­tia Pow­er, said it ex­pect­ed wide­spread pow­er out­ages.

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

It was lo­cat­ed about 615 miles (985 kilo­me­tres) 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, lead­ing U.S. Pres­i­dent Joe Biden to say Thurs­day that the full force of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment is ready to help the U.S. ter­ri­to­ry re­cov­er.

Speak­ing at a brief­ing with Fed­er­al Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency of­fi­cials in New York, Biden said, “We’re all in this to­geth­er.”

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.

More than 60% of pow­er cus­tomers re­mained with­out en­er­gy Thurs­day and a third of cus­tomers were with­out wa­ter, while 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 ripped in­to the is­land. Frus­tra­tion was mount­ing for peo­ple like Nan­cy Galarza, who tried to sig­nal for help from work crews she spot­ted in the dis­tance.

“Every­one goes over there,” she said point­ing to­ward crews at the bot­tom of the moun­tain who were help­ing oth­ers al­so cut off by the storm. “No one comes here to see us. I am wor­ried for all the el­der­ly peo­ple in this com­mu­ni­ty.”

At least five land­slides cov­ered the nar­row road to her com­mu­ni­ty in the steep moun­tains around the north­ern town of Caguas. The on­ly way to reach the set­tle­ment was to climb over thick mounds of mud, rock and de­bris left by Fiona, whose flood­wa­ters shook the foun­da­tions of near­by homes with earth­quake-like force.

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 de­pend on help from neigh­bours, as they did fol­low­ing Hur­ri­cane Maria, a Cat­e­go­ry 4 storm in 2017 that killed near­ly 3,000 peo­ple.

Dan­ciel Rivera ar­rived in rur­al Caguas with a church group and tried to bring a lit­tle cheer by dress­ing as a clown.

“That’s very im­por­tant in these mo­ments,” he said, not­ing that peo­ple had nev­er ful­ly re­cov­ered from Hur­ri­cane Maria.

His huge clown shoes squelched through the mud as he greet­ed peo­ple, whose faces lit up as they smiled at him.

___

As­so­ci­at­ed Press writ­ers Zeke Miller in Wash­ing­ton, Seth Boren­stein in New York, Rob Gillies in Toron­to and Mari­car­men Rivera Sánchez in San Juan, Puer­to Ri­co, con­tributed.