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Hurricane Fiona threatens Bermuda as she heads to defeat Canada

Hurricane Fiona threatened the Atlantic island of Bermuda on Friday, passing west of British territory on its northward journey to Nova Scotia, while holding the potential to become one of the strongest storms in Canada’s history.

Fiona attacked a series of Caribbean islands earlier this week, killing at least eight people during a blistering heat wave and cutting power to virtually all of Puerto Rico’s 3.3 million residents.

Bermudas closed windows and stocked up on groceries and flashlight batteries as they braced for the storm, which was expected to come closest to Bermuda in the early morning hours of Friday. Fiona’s center will form a path through the Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the east coast of the United States, but the storm’s outer bands will still plague the area with strong winds, pounding rain and storm surge.

All over the island, people cleared debris from yards and got ready to close storm shutters. Many houses are built with small shuttered windows, slate roofs and limestone blocks to withstand frequent hurricanes.

“I’m taking every precaution to stay safe,” said Dean Williams, a resident of the capital Hamilton. “Preparation is key, because at the highest intensity, there’s nothing we can do but wait.”

As of 8:00 p.m. AST (0000 GMT), Fiona had maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kph) and was approximately 280 miles (455 km) west-southwest of Bermuda and was moving north-northeast at 20 mph (31 km/h). km/h), said the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

That made it a Category 4 hurricane on the five-stage Saffir-Simpson scale, meaning it caused catastrophic damage.

It was also 1,000 miles (1,610 km) south-southeast of Halifax, the capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

Fiona will be the strongest storm to hit Canada since Dorian made landfall west of Halifax in September 2019, according to the Environment Canada government website.

This storm is expected to bring hurricane strength and torrential rain to the Atlantic provinces and eastern Quebec from Friday afternoon through Saturday. It seems likely it will move through eastern Nova Scotia before flowing north into Newfoundland and Labrador by Sunday.

A wide swath of Atlantic Canada, including parts of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and eastern Quebec, will feel the storm’s impact.

Like Dorian, Fiona was able to weaken to a post-tropical storm, but Dorian still had Category 2 intensity, with sustained winds of 96 mph (155 kph). It knocked down ancient trees and caused an extensive power outage.

And Fiona could dump even more rain. Forecasters say areas near the trail could receive up to 200mm of rain, while wind could damage buildings and cause power outages, with storm surges inundating coastlines.

The hurricane already showed its devastating power in Puerto Rico and other islands of the Caribbean, killing at least four people in Puerto Rico, the US Federal Emergency Management Agency said.

US President Joe Biden said at a briefing in New York that the federal government would fund debris clearing, power and water restoration, and shelter and food in the coming month.

An estimated 1 million homes and businesses were without power on U.S. soil on Thursday after Fiona struck Sunday, as people suffocated from the heat and humidity.

Loumarie Rosa, a 26-year-old assistant at a chiropractic clinic, said there was no gas for her generator in her hometown of Hatillo.

“It’s like the earth is on fire,” she said. “We can’t even turn on a fan.”

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